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The Value of Encouraging Company Vehicle Safety

For some organizations, company vehicles are critical to the day-to-day operations and long-term growth of the company. If that’s the case for your business, your fleet can be an ongoing—and costly—expense. Beyond the initial purchase of the vehicles, your bottom line is affected by maintenance, fuel, and insurance costs.

As with any personal-use vehicle, it’s critically important that your employees adopt safe driving practices while operating your company vehicles. Not only will this help keep your employees and other people on the road safe; it will also help minimize loss from a financial standpoint. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the value of encouraging company vehicle safety in the workplace to help protect your bottom line.

Commercial Auto Insurance for Your Business

If your business relies on company vehicles to execute daily operations or you have sales executives working on your behalf in their own automobiles, you need a commercial auto insurance policy to protect your business from the unexpected. With a commercial auto insurance policy in place, your business can continue to move forward should an accident occur.

The Value of Safe Driving

The cost of an auto accident goes far beyond the cost to fix vehicles and cover medical bills. According to OSHA, “Motor vehicle crashes cost employers $60 billion annually in medical care, legal expenses, property damage, and lost productivity. They drive up the cost of benefits such as workers' compensation, Social Security, and private health and disability insurance. In addition, they increase the company overhead involved in administering these programs. The average crash costs an employer $16,500. When a worker has an on-the-job crash that results in an injury, the cost to their employer is $74,000. Costs can exceed $500,000 when a fatality is involved. Off-the-job crashes are costly to employers as well.”

A culture of vehicle safety will not only help keep your employees and other drivers on the road safe—it will also serve to help protect your company’s financial resources by guarding against potential liability associated with motor vehicle crashes involving employees driving company vehicles.

Requirements for Operating Company Vehicles

The qualifications for operating company vehicles will most likely vary from business to business, but one criteria that should be non-negotiable is holding a valid commercial driver’s license with a clean driving record. Criteria for a good driving record include the following:

  • Licensed a minimum of five years

  • License must be active

  • No more than two minor moving violations in the past three years

  • No more than one at-fault accident and one minor moving violation in the past three years

  • No major violations in the past three to five years, including:

  • Operating a vehicle while license was suspended or revoked

  • Operating a vehicle without a license

  • Reckless driving

  • Speeding in excess of 25 mph

    • Two or more at-fault accidents

    • Drug conviction

    • DWI/DUI

    • Vehicular manslaughter

It is also advisable to make sure that your employees hold valid and proper endorsements for the vehicles that they will be expected to operate.

Communicating Your Company Vehicle Safety Policies with Employees

It goes without saying that only employees who are licensed and authorized to operate your fleet should be behind the wheel, but it’s also important that you have a documented vehicle safety policy. A clearly written set of policies, procedures, and best practices will serve to create a precise and enforceable set of rules for all of your employees to follow. You should include a concise statement that highlights your company’s commitment to reducing traffic-related incidents, as well as detailed guidelines that all employees need to follow while behind the wheel, and clearly defined consequences for what happens if the rules are not followed. Post these company vehicle safety policies and procedures throughout the workplace, include a copy of your company’s vehicle policy in the employee handbook, and review these policies with all new employees who will be operating a company vehicle in the course of their employment.

Clearly defining these policies helps you communicate to your employees what is required, AND it helps your agent communicate to your carriers how seriously your company is committed to safety. In the worst case scenario, it communicates to attorneys, judges, and a jury that safety is important to your company.

Two areas that consistently cause the most claims are Safe Driving Distance and Distracted Driving. You can implement communication around these two issues to address them immediately.

Have you done your part to minimize your business’ exposure to potential risks? Promoting company vehicle safety is just one aspect of a robust risk management program. A professional licensed insurance agent can discuss your current situation, let you know if you have the correct coverage, and discuss your options. Keep in mind you will want to reassess your commercial insurance coverage annually to be proactive and save your company money.

Contact an Agent

Jarryd Nolen

Jarryd Nolen is the Director of Sales for SWBC's Insurance Services. He helps business owners protect their company, employees, and community.

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