December 8, 2021
Your non-CDL or light-duty drivers face risks out on the road. They face the risk of accidents, injuries, or even fatal collisions. However, the risk doesn’t stop there. As their employer, you face financial risks as well. Employee accidents mean rising costs, fines, and potential court appearances. You need ways to reduce workplace vehicle accidents and reduce your liability.
Driving is the most dangerous thing your employees do. Regardless of their job, they face the most risk of accidents and injuries when they’re behind the wheel. In fact, according to this article, driving is the most dangerous thing any of us do on a daily basis.
Accidents lead to injuries, pain, and suffering for people. That alone is reason enough to prevent them. However, you as an employer of non-CDL and light-duty vehicle drivers face financial and legal responsibility beyond that.
When one of your employees cause a collision, you could be held liable for:
These all add up. Accidents that result in an injury cost companies $70,000 on average.
If you want to protect your company legally while also reducing the cost of loss, you need to reduce workplace vehicle accidents.
The benefits of reducing your liability/risk for an accident should be clear. The fewer accidents your company has, the more money you save.
For example, if your company has 8 reported collisions per year, that is minimum costing you $100,000 per year. It’s likely a lot more. Reducing accidents saves you money.
Beyond that, like most employers, you likely care about your employees’ health and well-being. Accidents cause suffering. They can even end lives. It is the moral responsibility of companies who put drivers on the road to take action to reduce accidents.
It’s not often that doing the right thing will actually benefit you financially.
There are two things at play when it comes to reducing your liability:
The two often work together, but we’ll tackle them one at a time.
Reducing/preventing workplace vehicle accidents is the best way for you to limit your liability and cost of loss. To do so, you need to train your drivers.
It’s not enough for you to count on your drivers’ having a clean record. Just because someone hasn’t had an accident doesn’t mean they won’t have an accident while they’re in your vehicle. You need to be proactive and train your employees to be safe, defensive drivers.
It’s important to remember, though, that defensive driving training is not an event. It’s a process. If you don’t make driver training a continuous part of working for your company, you won’t see the results you’re after. We recommend all of our clients to follow this training cycle:
Make sure you choose a safety training program that will meet all of these needs. A program like The Fleet Safety Course makes it easy to conduct online, in-person, and follow-up training.
Companies that follow this cycle enjoy at least a 20% reduction in accidents and injuries. That results in a positive return on their investment.
The steps listed above are proactive measures. They take action to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. However, you also need to have reactive measures in place that reduce your liability should the worst happen.
If one of your drivers were to cause a collision, to the extent possible, you want to prove that it wasn’t negligence on your part. There are several ways to do that:
As we said, it’s not often that doing the right thing also saves you money. Invest in employee safety training. Put practices in place that reduce your legal liability. In doing so, you can reduce accidents, reduce your cost of loss, and best of all, save lives.
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