Whether you own or lease a single vehicle or have an entire fleet of vehicles, it’s important that your business has a commercial auto policy. Commercial auto insurance provides protection for any vehicle designated for business use, as well as your commercial drivers.
But even with insurance protection, you will still need to take steps to prevent accidents and protect your employees and vehicles. The Insurance Information Institute (III) outlines the following best practices to help reduce the chance of your employees getting into an accident while on the road.
Set Driving Rules
- Require all employees to wear a seat belt. This measure can help prevent deaths and limit the severity of injuries in an accident.
- Enforce a zero tolerance policy. Inform all employees that they should never drink of use other intoxicants prior to using business vehicles.
- Prohibit all cell phone use behind the wheel. Distracted driving is the leading cause of accidents; keep in mind that cell phone use while driving is banned in certain states.
Set Vehicle Guidelines
- Although some employees may use the same car for work and personal use, limit the use of business vehicles to strictly work-related travel.
- Schedule enough travel time between meetings and assignments so that employees are encouraged to drive at the speed limit.
- Employees should always lock their vehicles when on the job and park in secure, well-lighted areas.
Set Hiring Standards
- Before hiring employees to drive company vehicles, interview each applicant and perform a driver’s license verification, reference check, and background investigation for each applicant. Review all Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) before you hire a new driver, and annually for all drivers.
- Provide training to employees who regularly drive work vehicles or are taking on a new assignment requiring vehicle use. Be sure to cover key safety practices such as following distances and proper backing techniques.
- Establish a program that recognizes and rewards safe drivers.
These steps can help to minimize the risk to your vehicles, but they can’t prevent accidents from happening. Be sure to train your employees on the appropriate steps to take following an incident, including not leaving the scene of an accident, contacting the police, and collecting information from all of parties involved (license plate numbers, contact and insurance information).
Let your employees know the appropriate personnel to report the incident to at work. As soon as possible, contact your insurance professional to report the accident and begin the claims filing process.
For more information on commercial auto insurance and how you can minimize your risks, contact McGrath Insurance Group at 508-347-6850 or visit www.mcgrathinsurance.com.
*This article is written for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice.