When employees drive on your company’s behalf – whether commuting to a client meeting in their personal vehicles or operating company-owned fleet vehicles – safety should always be top of mind. Automobile collision frequency and severity rates are rising because of congested roads, distracted drivers, construction, and other factors. Although accidents are not entirely unavoidable, implementing a fleet safety program can help your business improve driver safety and avoid significant financial loss. An effective fleet safety program should include the following components:
1. Commitment from Management
Leadership support will show that your company is serious about safety. The program is more likely to be embraced with executive buy-in.
2. Safety Policies and Guidelines
Policies should address all types of vehicle operators, including casual drivers. Your safety program should include policies for distracted driving, personal vehicle use, safety restraints, and defensive driving. All policies should be reviewed and refreshed annually with guidance from your legal counsel.
3. Standard Operating Procedures
Create a list of standard operating procedures that all drivers must obey. Include driver qualifications, licensing requirements, driver responsibilities and accident procedures.
4. Accident Response Plan
Define accident response protocol so drivers are prepared to respond to and report accidents. Make sure they retain evidence, documents and communication during the events that follow an accident to help your business mitigate losses.
5. Vehicle Maintenance Plan
Establish procedures for inspecting and repairing vehicles. Regular maintenance can help reduce costly, unexpected breakdowns and help prevent accidents caused by faulty equipment. Replace vehicles as they become obsolete or when maintenance is no longer cost-effective.
6. Efficient Scheduling
Setting reasonable driver schedules improves safety and efficiency. Provide drivers enough time to complete their trips without rushing or creating inefficiencies. Communicate with drivers to find the perfect balance that avoids scheduling conflicts and allows flexibility to deal with unforeseen events.
7. Driver Identification
Define employees authorized to drive company-owned vehicles and their intended purpose. Understand who’s using your vehicles off the clock for personal use. Define which employees are authorized to drive company-owned vehicles and the intended purpose.
8. Thorough Screening Process
Recruit, screen and select drivers carefully to create a safe, reliable team. At a minimum, your driver screening process should include criminal history checks, traffic violation history, drug/alcohol violation history, Motor Vehicle Reports (MVRs), pre-employment drug testing and physical examinations. Seek legal counsel to ensure your screening process is compliant with state background check laws.
9. Driver Behavior Monitoring
Poor driver behavior can lead to accidents and cost inefficiencies. Utilize fleet safety technology to track driver performance data. Monitor drivers’ speed, braking, location, device usage and other data to identify behaviors that need improvement. Replace or dismiss a driver if their behavior does not improve through training.
10. Driver Training
A mandatory training program can help ensure all drivers understand vehicle safety policies and procedures. Include training programs for task-specific vehicles. Require on-going and remedial training as necessary.
An effective fleet safety program is just one small component of your enterprise risk management program. BKS-Partners is pleased to offer Risk Mitigation Services to orga
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