Given that there are over 100 motor vehicle crashes in the United States daily, you may never prevent one involving one of your employees. However, through a series of workplace protocol changes, you might be able to reduce the risk. Consider doing the following steps to keep both motor vehicle insurance costs and accident risks low.
Create a Safety Culture
You can’t simply tell your employees not to get into car accidents, since these occurrences are the furthest thing from intentional. However, you can create a safety culture within your workplace that helps your employees become more safety-conscious.
This can involve having top-level management engaged in leadership, resource allocation, and policies to improve driving safety with company vehicles from the top down.
Fortunately, even if you or a staff member do get into a car accident, there are high-quality car accident attorneys out there, like Florin Roebig, who can help you manage any claims from start to finish.
Establish a Traffic Safety Policy
Even companies with many staff members that work from home can benefit from a traffic safety policy. This outlines your expectations for when or if any employee gets behind the wheel of one of your company cars. Within these traffic safety policies, you can include expectations around drug and alcohol use, and seatbelt safety. Make sure these policies are easily accessible for all.
Your policy can also include a driver agreement. If any staff members use company vehicles for work purposes, they can sign an agreement that states they agree, acknowledge, and understand your company’s policies, procedures, and expectations around vehicle use.
Enforce Crash Reporting
Accidents can happen at any time and for any reason. An employee may have been struggling with their stress levels and wasn’t concentrating. Another driver may have hit them, or they didn’t see an obstacle in their rearview mirror. Whatever the reason and severity, consider enforcing crash reporting.
Make it a rule in your workplace that every ding or scrape must be recorded, reported, and investigated. Not only does this mean you’ll have a paper trail for any accident claims, but it may prove useful for working out how to reduce or avoid crashes in the future. For example, if an employee dropped a snack while driving and rear-ended another vehicle, you may decide to make it a rule that eating is prohibited in company cars.
Be Selective With Vehicles
It can be tempting to try and get the best deal possible with fleet vehicles – both new and used. However, any business owner may see the value in putting safety features before competitive price tags.
Purchase fleet vehicles that demonstrate best-in-class features for crash-worthiness. You can also find out crash test rating information for cars by visiting the NHTSA’s ‘Safercar’ site. With the help of their team, company owners may also be able to reduce the accident risk by ensuring preventative maintenance schedules are followed.
Set Up a Safe Driver Program
Employees who frequently drive for their companies may benefit from a safe driver program. These programs are designed to improve driver behavior, change driver attitudes, and promote a safety culture with all staff members who get behind the wheel.
Fortunately, setting up these programs can be far more straightforward than you might think. Guidelines are offered through a joint initiative between OSHA, NETS, and the NHTSA. A small amount of admin work and an initial setup cost can be all it takes to potentially reduce the risk of accidents involving your employees in the future.
Screen Your Drivers
Businesses with delivery driving and other driving-related tasks as their primary source of income can’t afford to have a high crash rate. It digs into your profits while also increasing your insurance premiums. With this in mind, consider screening potential new employees before hiring them. Review their driving record by requesting information from the Department of Motor Vehicles. By hiring drivers with a clean and safe driving record, you may be able to minimize the crash risk in your workplace.
Provide Ongoing Safety Training
While any employer can put their drivers through a safe driver program and say they’ve done their part, there’s often more work to do. A one-off training course is an excellent start, but it can also just be the foundation for ongoing training. Just as police officers will frequently visit the firing range to remain sharp, company vehicle operators can undertake safety training courses to stay safe on the road. These courses can outline helpful information, such as how drugs and alcohol impair driving, the consequences of a lack of seatbelt use, and the importance of not speeding.
There are many driver training companies out there that can help get your initiative off the ground. You can even hire companies to come in and take over the reins of your driver safety training.
Offer Disciplinary Action and Rewards
If your high workplace accident rate is concerning you, you may consider the idea of disciplinary action. If in the past there have been no consequences for drivers who consistently break driving rules and laws, there’s very little motivation for those drivers to try harder.
What you choose as your disciplinary action of choice may depend on what rule, law, or regulation the driver violated. For severe violations like driving under the influence, employment termination may be an option. For less severe infractions, a progressive form of disciplinary action may be called for, such as a verbal warning, followed by a written warning, suspension, then termination.
For drivers who have a clean record and continue to provide excellent results, monetary incentives might be the encouragement they need to keep up the excellent work. Mentions in staff newsletters and commendations in their work files may also show your appreciation.
Some of the best car accident attorneys can help your business out when collisions occur, but there’s no harm in trying to reduce the risk of them happening in the first place. The information above may prove useful for your business now and into the future.