Does your business rely on company vehicles, such as cars, delivery vans, and haulage trucks?
If so, you need to make health and safety a priority, not only for your drivers but for the sake of all of those other road users who will be driving alongside your business fleet.
If you don’t, there will be consequences.
- You will find yourself on the wrong side of a car or a truck accident lawyer should a compensation claim be made against your business
- Your reputation will take a hit if you or your drivers are found to be negligent in any way
- You will suffer from feelings of guilt if you know you haven’t done enough to prevent an accident on the roads.
Finding ways to put safety first is a must then, and you can do this in the following ways.
1. Write a Driver Policy
This needs to stipulate the standards of behavior you expect from your drivers. From following traffic laws to taking the appropriate number of breaks, ensure your fleet drivers know what is expected of them. You should also put in writing the consequences of any unsafe behavior, such as a warning or dismissal should they flagrantly disrespect highway rules.
2. Provide Driver Training
Of course, you wouldn’t allow an employee to drive a vehicle without having passed their driving test first. But you still need to make sure your employees are fully training in handling vehicles that they might not be used to. Not only is this a common-sense notion, but it’s a legality too, as your drivers need to possess the right license to commandeer certain vehicles, such as those larger commercial vehicles that your business might rely on for deliveries and supply pickups.
3. Service Your Vehicles Regularly
No matter how skilled your drivers are, the vehicles they operate need to be fit for purpose. If there are any mechanical faults, then your drivers can’t be blamed should an accident take place because of the vehicles they are driving. It is your responsibility to ensure your business fleet is road-worthy, despite the expense incurred because of a service. If tires are old, use a reliable tire change company to replace them. You should also replace those vehicles that are no longer fit to be on the roads.
4. Be Careful with the Hiring Process
Don’t hire somebody to drive one of your company vehicles if they have an unsafe driving record. You need to run the appropriate background checks first, such as a criminal background check, and a call to the DMV to find out about any licensing issues. If you have any doubts, don’t run the risk of hiring somebody who might be responsible for an accident or an injury on the roads, as your business reputation will suffer alongside the people who are hurt as a consequence.
5. Use Vehicle Tracking Software
Not only will you have the opportunity to keep tabs on where your vehicles are when you use vehicle tracking software, but you will also have the opportunity to monitor your driver’s behavior too. If they are driving unsafely, you will then have reason to talk to them, and perhaps deliver a warning or an offer of further training if you think they need it.
6. Work with Legal Experts
Many people feel that for common offenses, it is appropriate to handle things on their own. However, what they do not know is that the law enforcement agencies do not always play fair. They have their credentials to maintain, which can force them to get you for offenses, which you might or might not have committed. This is why you need to work with legal experts for even small offenses like speeding tickets, parking fines and others. As lawyers who deal with such things know their way around these cases, you can be certain that you do not have to spend a lot of time or energy pursuing the same.
So, don’t place any compromises on safety with your business fleet. For the sake of your drivers and other road users, and for the sake of your business as a whole, follow our suggestions to ensure safety is always put first.