As a business owner with employees who may be regularly in the field, especially for service-based companies, you’re responsible for their health, safety, and well-being while on the road. You can’t control everything an employee does behind the wheel, but you can set them up for success by implementing some smart rules and procedures.
Motor vehicle safety for employees, by the numbers
According to data curated by Automotive Fleet Magazine, roughly 40 percent of all motor vehicle accidents are work-related. Therefore, motor vehicle safety is essential for employees who are required to drive and exposed to greater risks. Furthermore, just 42.6 percent of companies are currently mandating driver safety programs for employees.
Frustratingly, the overall number of auto accidents and injuries continues to peak. Since 2013, the number of motor vehicle-related injuries has risen by 6.2 percent. Collectively, these accidents cost employers more than $56 billion. (A significant portion of this cost is tied to the fact that 53 percent of employees miss work after an accident.) Additionally, collision insurance claims remain at their highest levels in the past decade and have experienced significant increases over the past five years.
5 tips to increase work-related driving safety
At a time when road safety regulations have widely improved in recent decades, the fact that work-related accidents are still commonplace should motivate employers to make some changes. Here are a few recommendations:
1. Implement a driver safety program
The number of work-related driving accidents, including fatal collisions, can be significantly reduced with the development of an employee driving safety program.
A driver safety program typically involves a few different moving parts, including:
- A master document and/or manual (like this one) in which employees are required to review and sign with a dedicated safety program director.
- Special training sessions that take place in the company parking lot and/or on the road with a qualified instructor.
The key to a successful driver safety program is to tailor it to take it seriously and tailor it to your employees’ specific needs. Employees will only apply what they’ve learned if they believe you’ll hold them accountable.
2. Focus on high-risk factors
While you can broadly touch on dozens of different risk factors in your driver safety program, it’s best to focus on high-risk factors. Texting and driving, for example, is a serious issue that poses a significant threat to the safety of your employees and the reputation of your business.
According to Console & Associates P.C. 8.5 percent of all motor vehicle crashes in 2019 involved distracted drivers. Meanwhile, one in four auto accidents were caused by texting and driving. If you can eliminate (or significantly reduce) the prevalence of distracted driving in your organization, you’ll immediately elevate your company’s safety profile.
3. Track and incentivize safe driving records
There are plenty of applications and tools on the market that allow you to track the driving performance of employees. Test and implement some of these solutions and let your employees know you’ll be studying the data and offering incentives according to performance. For many employees, simply knowing their driving habits in the field will be monitored is enough to convince them to drive safer.
4. Invest in preventative maintenance
Not all employee driving accidents are caused by negligence or human error. Numerous accidents can be traced to problems with a motor vehicle.
If employees are driving fleet vehicles, invest in regular preventative maintenance to keep them in tip-top shape. Not only will this reduce the likelihood of accidents related to braking issues, tire blowouts, or system failure, but it will also protect your financial investments.
5. Reduce the number of employees on the road
As any auto insurance expert will tell you, car accidents are a numbers game. The more employees on the road, the higher the chances an accident will occur. If possible, reduce the number of employees on the road. In theory, this will lower your risk and protect the bottom line.
Protect employees and your business
If you want to keep your business healthy and growing, protect your employees while they perform every aspect of their jobs. While it’s ultimately up to them to make smart choices behind the wheel, you can do your part by providing safe vehicles, fundamental knowledge, and targeted skill training they need to lower their risk of being involved in an on-the-job accident. At the end of the day, an investment in the safety of your employees is an investment in the long-term stability of your business.
Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.
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