Are your employees driving safe?
There are many examples of unsafe driving occurring every single day.
An employee was making deliveries and at the same time was trying to find a new song on this cell phone. The driver did not see a pedestrian crossing at an upcoming rosswalk and struck the pedestrian.
A driving became enraged with the driver he was following and lightly, but intentionally and repeatedly, used his front bumper to tap the rear bumper of the other vehicle. Witnesses confirm the incident. The driver left the scene.
A driver suffering from sleep apnea dozed off, crossed the center line, and collided head on with an oncoming vehicle. The oncoming driver had numerous internal injuries and multiple fractured bones.
After fixing a flat tire, the driver tried to make up time by speeding. He lost control of the vehicle on a corner and crossed the center line striking another vehicle head-on.
You may be liable.
Employers may be held responsible for the harm or damages caused by their employees where the harm or damage was caused by the employee while acting in the course and scope of his or her employment. For example, the employer’s liability (also known as vicarious liability) may arise when its employee, while acting in the course and scope of his/her employment, is involved in a vehicle crash that injures another person.
Damages may also be awarded to an injured party when the employer has entrusted a company vehicle to a driver who is known or should have been known to be an unsafe driver. This is commonly referred to as negligent entrustment. In some states, punitive damages may also be awarded and may not be covered by insurance.
To help protect your business, consult qualified counsel to understand the exposures unique to your business and the laws applicable in your state.
There are some tools to help.
Developing an effecting driving policy that is read and signed by all employees is a crucial element to your company’s successful implementation of a safe driving program. Make it known that the purpose of the policy is to ensure the safety of the employees and the communities in which they operate. The driving policies outlines the expectations for each driver and the repercussions for any violation of the policy. Some key elements may include: mobile device restrictions, MVR standards, personal use of company vehicles, etc.
A properly implemented and compliant driver screening program may help protect your business from driving-related losses. A driver screening program may also help you determine whether drivers meet your company’s driving standards.
Consider enrolling your drivers in the iiX Driver Advisor Monitoring program. You are alerted when new activity is detected on their driving records. This service also orders the motor vehicle records which can help you evaluate the driving behavior of those employees who are operating your vehicles.
Creating a policy and monitoring drivers is not enough. You must keeping safe driving front of mind though regularly scheduled safety meetings. Each meeting should be well documented with each employee signing in when they attend.
While this information is for general information only and should not be used as legal advice, these tips may greatly help reduce the risk of accidents. If you would like addition material or access to videos, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to provide them.
Stay safe out there!