Motor vehicle related deaths are on the increase in the United States, with over 40,000 deaths per year and a 14% increase between 2014 and 2016 – the largest in 50 years. Costs are potentially catastrophic for businesses with associated average costs to employers of $128,000 for crashes resulting in injury and $4 million that result in death.
One of the most effective ways to reduce motor vehicle incidents in your business is to implement a driving safety program.
A driving safety program does not have to be complicated or lengthy, but to be effective, a good one should 1) addresses the risks to your specific organization, 2) have management buy-in, and 3) be a living document that is communicated regularly throughout the organization.
Some of the key elements that every driving safety program should consider are:
1. Drivers – fit for duty
- Identify all driver classifications in your organization that could potentially put your company at risk. Evaluate the risks of everyone who drives on behalf of the business - even those employees who use personal and/or rented vehicles.
Areas of risk to consider and to establish policies for: distracted driving (cell phone), fatigue/ trip planning, remote worker policies
- Establish proper hiring and screening guidelines, including initial and periodic valid drivers license checks and tickets/ violations, including license suspensions.
- Create appropriate initial and periodic drivers training program – either video based or behind the wheel. Your insurance provider may offer free resources for you.
- Formalize a plan for proper vehicle inspection, repair, maintenance, and vehicle usage. Not only does this can help to reduce costly, unexpected breakdowns, but it can assist in avoiding accidents due to faulty equipment.
Check out our blog 5 Tips for Driving Safety Preparedness for National Safety Month!
3. Management - tools and commitment
- Ensure explicit leadership support for the program and encourages its adoption throughout all levels in the organization – perhaps one of the most critical components to all successful driving safety programs
- Provide written documentation of the program with policies and procedures to all drivers to sets clear and consistent expectations.
- Manage drivers on an ongoing basis, which is essential to ensure that drivers are following fleet safety rules and driving safely. Telematics technology can provide very cost effective and efficient feedback to both drivers and leadership regarding program compliance. StriveSafe supports positive, reward-based programs for drivers to encourage safe driving behavior.
- Establish accident standard procedures and manage accidents when they occur. This can help mitigate accident costs and also ensures proper collection of important information, which will help the organization better understand how to reduce the potential for future losses.