How often do you really take the time to think about your risk when you get behind the wheel of a car?
If you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t give this much thought.
However, if you’re an employer, it’s important that you consider how the deliberate or accidental acts taken by your workers can impact their safety on the road. Not only is this necessary from your perspective as a human being with obvious concern for others, but also from a business standpoint.
You need your drivers to be safe to make sure your business stays open – and successful.
Here are some recommendations for employers to reduce company motor vehicle accidents of all kinds.
What Impact Do Company Vehicle Accidents Have on a Business?
Motor vehicle crashes can be devastating for a business.
Every 12 minutes, someone dies in a motor vehicle crash, with an accident occurring every five seconds. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these incidents occur during the workday or on the commute to or home from work.
In many cases, employers bear the brunt of the cost of these accidents.
Whether it’s loss of manpower due to an accident, the emotional toll of having a friend and coworker killed or injured in an accident, or rising insurance premiums as a result of a company vehicle accident, there are lots of reasons to want to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.
Recommendations for Employers
There are a few things employers can do to help keep their workers safe on the road.
1. Install Vehicle Safety Features
There are all sorts of vehicle safety features that you can install in company vehicles.
Many of these are required in order to safely have a car on the road – and pass inspection. They include seatbelts, airbags, and anti-lock brakes.
All vehicles should be regularly inspected and maintained to help keep your employees safe while driving.
2. Require Seat Belts
In many parts of the country, seat belts are not required for adult passengers in vehicles – just the drivers.
Although it might not be statewide law where you live, it should be company policy that all passengers in a company car must wear their seat belts at all times. This can reduce any confusion or miscommunication over seat belt rules – and keep everyone safer, too.
After all, it’s estimated that wearing a seat belt can reduce your risk of fatality and serious injury by up to 50%, according to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration!
3. Provide Driver Training
A driver training program can work wonders when it comes to getting everyone in your company on the same page.
These can not only help save lives and reduce the risk of injuries, but they can also protect your organization’s financial and human resources. At a more black and white level, they can also prevent potential personal and company liabilities that are associated with having your employees drive for you.
Most car accidents are entirely preventable – making sure your employees are not only good employees but also good drivers is essential.
4. Offer Incentives
Plenty of companies offer incentives for their employees to drive safely. Charter Communications in Michigan, for instance, started a program in 2001 that incentivized seat belt use among its workers. It resulted in a seat belt use rate of more than 94% – and it’s stayed consistent since then, too.
It doesn’t have to be seat belt use that you incentivize, either. Just about any aspect of safe driving can be rewarded – even just a certain period of time with no traffic violations or accidents. You can use any kind of incentive you want, from total mileage reimbursement to paid time off.
5. Check Motor Vehicle Records
Verify each employee’s driving record to make sure their licenses are valid and there aren’t any outstanding violations. These records are updated yearly – so check them yearly, too.
6. Put a Policy in Place
Make sure your company has clear rules regarding how, when, and where vehicles can be driven – and stick to those policies. Drafting up a handbook is a good place to start.
Make sure the policy includes details on things like distracted driving and other safety measures that might matter to your organization, like seatbelt use, too.
7. Put Employees First
Finally, put your employees’ safety first. Let your drivers take breaks – employees who are required to drive for long hours, particularly early in the morning or late at night, are at an increased risk of being in a motor vehicle accident.
Keep Your Employees Safe on the Road
The odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash, according to the National Safety Council, are about 1 in 107. For some people, those odds might sound pretty forgiving – but others might find those figures a bit too high for their liking.
As an employer, you can reduce the likelihood of your employees being involved in motor vehicle accidents by following the guidelines above – and subsequently worry less about them becoming one of those 1 in 107.