Vehicle crash statistics are startling. A vehicle crash occurs every five seconds, someone is injured in a vehicle crash every 10 seconds, and someone dies in a car crash every 12 minutes.
Since most of these crashes occur on workdays or while a person is commuting to or from work, employers are often impacted by these crashes and also bear a cost as the employee involved in the accident misses work.
The Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes booklet provides employers with a simple driver safety program that can be implemented in the workplace.
The booklet – produced by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, OSHA, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – is applicable to businesses of all sizes, firms with or without a fleet of company vehicles, and regardless of whether personal or company vehicles are driven by employees during the work day.
Here is the 10 step safety program in brief:
1. Involve all levels of staff in the initial planning phase of the driver safety program. You need employees to be involved and a commitment from your senior management. Remember, employees that see management disregarding or not abiding by the new program aren’t very likely to value or abide by it either.
2. Compose a written policy and procedure with explicit and enforceable rules regarding driver safety. These rules should be centrally posted and periodically distributed to all your employees. Department managers can further discuss these rules during department and in-service meetings.
3. Have all employees sign a safety contract. They should sign regardless of whether they are driving their own or a company vehicle. By signing the document, the employee is acknowledging that they’ve read and understood your policy and is agreeing to follow it.
4. Keep driving records on all employees. You can set up a time to periodically review the records for any drivers with driving violations. Make sure that your policy clearly specifies how many violations will result in an employee having their company-related driving privileges revoked.
5. Part of the safety program should be creating a process to report and investigate all crashes, even those that are minor. Your policy should make it mandatory for employees to report any vehicle accident they’re involved in. The process should also establish a method of investigation to determine how and why the crash happened and if it was preventable.
6. The selection, maintenance, and inspection of your company fleet should also have a specific set of guidelines. For example, the guidelines might include:
- The safety features offered by various models when selecting new fleet vehicles.
- Routine maintenance that will need to be performed in accordance with manufacturer recommendations.
- Mechanical performance.
7. Consider what disciplinary actions you may take in response to preventable accidents and traffic violations. Make sure that your policy clearly establishes the consequences for each type of infraction and for subsequent infractions within a set period of time.
8. Establish an incentive program to recognize and reward employees that have avoided accidents and traffic violations. Drivers who have exemplary driving records and who meet or exceed preset criteria receive a reward or monetary incentives.
9. Reinforce what you’ve already established. Continue to provide your employees with refresher courses on driver safety.
10. Take steps to ensure that all employees are obeying traffic laws and highway safety regulations. Employees that have been driving for an extended period of time often take shortcuts. Enforce consequences so that employees know this isn’t acceptable behavior.