The National Highway Transportation Administration reports that vehicle collision rates and severity are on the rise with over $230 billion—two percent of the US GDP—spent on auto liability claims yearly. This comes with little surprise as roadways are increasingly congested, vehicles are traveling at higher speeds and we face an ever-growing epidemic of distracted driving. For these reasons, insurance underwriters are scrutinizing fleet operations more than ever. If you are tasked with managing a fleet of drivers, no matter how big or small, how are you ensuring they are driving safely on the roadways? Do you trust them?
In the unfortunate event of an accident, help your company’s image and bottom line by having the right safety controls in place. A true safety culture begins with hiring the right team, and continues long after employees sign on the dotted line. Even if you think you have a good safety program now, there are always ways to make it better. Here are three tips for your consideration to help you sleep better at night and keep your insurance premiums low:
1. Do your homework and invest in your employees.
Mitigate the risk of hiring unsafe drivers by performing adequate research in the pre-screening stage. Check the Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs) for all prospective employees and conduct all other necessary backgrounchecks. Once on board, continuously coach your team on safe practices and ensure all drivers are getting the training they need. Address all types of vehicle operators, including casual drivers. Remind them to always take their role behind the wheel seriously. Policies should be reviewed and refreshed annually. Make safety part of your culture, i.e. something you do all the time versus a “check the box.” Companies that do not perform their due diligence are sitting ducks for litigation that could include big damage awards.
2. Reduce risk through continuous driver’s license monitoring
If you are relying on the annual MVR record pull, you are exposing yourself to liabilities the other 364 days a year. “Not knowing” that your driver had a DUI or suspension at the time of a crash is not an excuse when it comes to negligence. Find out when your drivers have a change in their status and take appropriate action before it’s too late. Depending on the infraction, you may consider transferring them to a non-driving role, putting them in training or just letting them go. Studies show that people with suspended driver’s licenses have a crash rate that’s 14 times higher than other drivers.
3. Regularly consult with your fleet insurance company.
Regardless of your fleet size or type, it’s crucial to ensure fleet safety is not your blind spot. Of course, your goal should be to avoid filing claims entirely. Not filing claims saves you money and keeps premiums low for years to come. By truly upholding a safety culture with all your employees, you are doing your part to keep the roadways safer for all of us. You’re also proving that your company truly values safety and for that, we thank you!
Embark Safety's Driver License Monitoring System ensures that employees have valid licenses all the time. System notifies managers when drivers receive driver license status changes, new violations, suspensions, DUIs, revocations, license and medical certificate expirations.
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