Your company’s vehicles are an important asset, and they may also be a significant source of liability. Careful oversight of how you maintain and use company vehicles will help assure that you are able to budget for them affordably, not lose out on your investment, and prevent your company from being liable for someone’s bodily injury or property damage. Smart policies and procedures regarding their use will also help you keep your personnel safe on the road. Here are some useful things that you can be doing to manage company vehicles effectively.
Obtain Comprehensive Insurance
Commercial auto insurance differs considerably from policies for personal use. It is important to build a policy that fully meets your business’ needs. This may entail going above and beyond state minimum requirements for commercial vehicles. Look for coverage from multiple carriers. Don’t complete the renewal process until you’ve done some due diligence to assure that you’ll be getting the best available price.
One thing that could impact the cost of insurance is the driving record of people who will be using company vehicles. A carrier may request the name and drivers license number of everyone who will be driving in the course of his or her job duties. Before agreeing to let anyone use a vehicle owned by the company, you should conduct your own driving record screening. Ideally, you should integrate a driving record check into your hiring process.
Apart from preventing you from having to pay a lot to insure company cars or trucks, checking driving records can also give you confidence that someone will be driving safely. A few traffic infractions aren’t necessarily cause for alarm, but involvement in multiple accidents certainly would be. When an employer hires someone who will drive as a part of his or her regular job duties and does not conduct a driving record search, the employer may be liable for negligent hiring if an employee gets into an accident.
Create a Training Program
You may be eligible for an abatement on an insurance policy that’s part of a commercial package if you have drivers participate in a training program for safe driving. You can conduct training sessions on the road or enroll employees in an online course. Even highly experienced drivers can benefit from some refresher information about defensive driving and how to handle potential issues such as distracted driving and poor weather conditions. Having employees participate in a training program shows them how much the company values the importance of driving safely. This emphasis on putting safety first can make people be more mindful about how they drive.
Monitor Driving Practices
To verify that your staff is following safe driving policies when they’re behind the wheel, use a system that can monitor how they use a vehicle. Many systems can give you very detailed information simply by plugging them into a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics port and using an app or program online. They can even give you real time alerts when someone is driving unsafely. A DVIR system can give you thorough information about things that you may need to address such as short braking, speeding, or noncompliance with traffic laws.
Create a Maintenance Schedule
Preventative maintenance is essential to keeping vehicles in good condition. Identify which preventative maintenance activities need to happen and how often. It must be absolutely clear to you and everyone on your team who is responsible for different types of maintenance activities. Drivers should know which staff person to talk to if they observe any type of problem with a vehicle. You might also consider making inspection reports a part of your maintenance schedule so you can have documentation that a vehicle was inspected and found to be in fair operable condition on a given date.
All business managers need to be attentive to how their team maintains and uses company vehicles. Strategic oversight can result in reduced overhead and also prevent unnecessary hardship.
Publish Date: August 20, 2021 1:59 AM