February 9, 2022
The goal of having driver safety policies is to prevent accidents and injuries while reducing your liability. You likely already have some safety policies in place, but it’s time to take a critical look at them. Is anything missing? Are you or your drivers exposed to unnecessary risk?
If you’ve been reading our blogs, you know how we feel about rules, compliance, and policies. They are not the same thing as safety. You increase safety by changing human behaviors through training and education. That being said, effective and comprehensive driver safety policies are still important.
A thorough driver safety policy can help influence your employees to reduce risk and prevent accidents.
We covered this topic in a past blog. Follow this link for a few basic policies such as drug & alcohol testing, seat belt usage, distracted driving, and journey management.
However, those alone are not enough. There’s still exposure for accidents, injuries, and litigation.
We recommend that any company with employees behind the wheel also covers these important points in their safety policies:
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If you give someone keys to a company vehicle, you’re putting the company’s finances in their hands. One wrong or unsafe move could cost your company tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Worse yet, it could cost someone their life.
With that in mind, it’s important to be selective about who is allowed to drive company-owned vehicles. We recommend you implement the following policies:
Unfortunately, even someone who meets all of these requirements could still cause an accident, but the entire company’s risk will go down with this policy in place.
While you may collect MVRs at the time of hire and annually, that doesn’t cover you the rest of the year. Leaving the policy at that means you’re blind to anything that happens in between MVR checks.
That’s why you need to have a policy on reporting violations.
You need to mandate that your employees report the following violations within 24 hours to you:
Failure to comply with this policy should result in punishment up to termination.
The goal of your safety policy and safety training is to prevent accidents. Even so, you must be prepared for the unexpected.
Your drivers face the risk of accidents and other emergencies when they’re behind the wheel. That’s why it’s important to have clear policies on how your drivers are to respond to emergencies.
For accidents, you must clarify how your drivers should:
It’s also important you have policies for other vehicle emergencies such as:
For help on creating a driver policy for accident response, check out this blog.
As we mentioned before, policies don’t prevent accidents. Education and training does. Accidents happen when people take too much risk or perform unsafe behaviors. As such, your company needs a clear policy on mandatory defensive driving practices.
Your company should mandate that drivers must:
Of course, you need to train your drivers on how to put these policies to use, but having them in writing sends the message that they are important.
A comprehensive driver safety policy sets the stage for accident and risk reduction. It sends a clear message to your employees about what the company’s expectations are and what happens if those expectations are not met.
Without safety training, though, you’re talking the talk without walking the walk.
An effective driver safety training program will:
Your safety training program and driver safety policy work in sync to reduce cost of loss and save lives.
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