Workplace motor vehicle accidents are and should be a major safety concern for companies of all sizes, as they can result in injuries, property damage, and even fatalities. It’s critical that employers create a work environment in which employees feel that their safety is always top of mind, and motor vehicle accidents are one of the top causes of injury and death in the workplace.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Workplace Motor Vehicle Crashes?
Efforts should be made on an ongoing basis to commit to the safety of employees driving as part of their job. If employees drive as part of their regular responsibilities, such as to meet clients, visit different branches or locations or to deliver goods and services, there are a few things employers should keep in mind to ensure safety of these workers. Even if employees have perfect driving records and have been driving for many years, an accident can happen at any time, to anyone.
The following are recommendations for steps that organizations can take to help prevent crashes and improve the safety of their employees who drive as part of their job.
- Conduct thorough pre-employment checks. You probably know the old saying, “Prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Before hiring an employee who will be expected to drive as part of their job, it’s important to perform background checks, including reviewing their driving record and conducting drug and alcohol testing. Choose staff who have demonstrated they are not a high-risk driver.
- Check Motor Vehicle Reports (MVRs). On a yearly basis, verify your drivers’ MVRs to ensure licenses are valid and that there are no outstanding violations. Additionally, only properly licensed individuals should be allowed to drive specialized vehicles.
- Regularly inspect and maintain company vehicles. Ensure that vehicles are regularly serviced and inspected for issues that could impact their safety on the road and encourage your employees to report any safety concerns. Employees should feel comfortable reporting any concerns they have about the safety of vehicles they operate or unsafe driving practices they observe and have faith that such issues will be acted upon.
- Develop and enforce a comprehensive driver safety policy. This policy should include guidelines for things like seatbelt use, cell phone use while driving, obeying traffic laws and minimum driving requirements, as well as consequences for violations. This policy should also include rules against distracted driving. (Visit our article on drafting a Corporate Distracted Driving Policy.)
- Consider implementing telematics devices. If you manage a fleet of vehicles for company use, these devices can track driving behaviors and provide real-time feedback, which can help drivers improve their driving habits and keep you informed of any risky driving behaviors.
- Allow drivers to take breaks. Employees required to drive for long hours, in the early morning or late at night, may be more susceptible to drowsy driving and falling asleep at the wheel. Encourage drivers to take frequent breaks, at least every 100 miles or every two hours, especially when driving overnight. Before a long drive, employees should get plenty of sleep, and understand that if they start to feel groggy or irritable, they should pull over and get some rest.
- Provide regular driver safety training. Periodic driver training will help prepare your employees for adverse road conditions, improve their ability to react to situations and help retrain them in the fundamentals of driving that many forget or become lax about over time.
Corporate Driver Training from DriveTeam
DriveTeam offers customizable corporate driver training to ensure your employees know how to be safe, confident and conscientious while behind the wheel. Contact us today for more information.