As the cost of commercial auto insurance continues climbing at unprecedented rates, any business with vehicles has to make sure that it has procedures and policies in place to reduce the chances of its drivers causing accidents.
When a business entrusts a vehicle to an employee, it is literally putting its assets on the line.
You should set these no-exception rules for drivers:
- Always wear seat belts.
- No driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- No mobile phone use while driving.
You should also set guidelines for employees to follow when they use company vehicles, such as:
Limit their non-business use of vehicles – If employees take company cars home with them, you should set reasonable limits on personal use.
Allow plenty of time between meetings and assignments – This will make it less necessary for employees to speed.
Park vehicles wisely – Instruct workers to park vehicles in well-lit areas, and to lock them.
Weeding out trouble
You should also try to make sure that you don’t put people in driving positions that are risky. You can:
- Check prospective employees’ driving records before hiring them.
- Not let staff with poor records drive.
- Annually check driving employees’ records.
- Require employees to report accidents they have when they are off the job.
- Be on the lookout for employees with short tempers, as they may be prone to road rage.
- Provide occasional driver training for employees who drive, especially drivers of large commercial vehicles.
But, even with all the preventive measures in the world, an accident will occasionally happen. You should prepare your drivers for that event.
Develop procedures for what a worker should do after an accident. Keep copies of the procedures handy in vehicle glove boxes.
- Remain at the scene.
- Call the police if there are injuries.
- Gather information from the other driver (name, address, insurance information, license plate number) and any witnesses.
- Report the accident to a designated person within the company.
If one of your employees is involved in an accident, report the accident to us or your insurance company as soon as possible.
Follow the conditions listed in the insurance policy. Check with us if you do not know what they are. Follow the insurer’s instructions for getting repair estimates and communicating with physicians.
Your insurance company may be able to help. Many insurers offer loss-prevention guidance for their customers.
Businesses can reduce their risks and control their costs by working with their insurers and following the simple steps set out above.