It seems that today, just about everything involving your business needs a special policy. This includes driving on company business. Having a vehicle and drivers’ policy for your staff can enhance employee safety and avoid costly accidents. Here are essential considerations for crafting a good company driving policy.
Because the company may be financially liable for accidents, whether the vehicle is owned or leased by the company or belongs to the employee driving on company business (see this TimeSheets article on point), be sure to have a solid vehicle and drivers policy. Your policy should reiterate to employees what is common sense:
- Obey traffic laws, making allowances for weather and traffic conditions
- Wear seatbelts
- Do not drive when impaired by medication, alcohol, or drugs
- Report any mechanical difficulties in a company vehicle (e.g., low tire pressure)
- Maintain a valid driver’s license
- Following up on vehicle recalls
The Department of Transportation has released a booklet on automated driving systems, which shows that self-driving vehicles aren’t science fiction anymore. Obviously, when self-driving cars and trucks come into use, you’ll need to adapt your policy.
OSHA suggests that you make it company policy to bar actions that contribute to distracted driving (e.g., texting while driving). Did you know that “reaction time is delayed for a driver talking on a cell phone as much as it is for a driver who is legally drunk”?
Actions following an accident
If an employee is involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving on company business (whether in a company vehicle or a personal one), your policy should dictate the protocol for the employee to follow. This can include:
- Remaining at the scene of the accident for police to arrive
- Completing an accident report
- Having drug or alcohol analysis immediately following the incident
- Furnishing a copy of the report to the company
Make sure employees understand your driving policy. You can print it out and have each employee sign it. Also be sure they understand the consequences for violating the policy. This can include disciplinary action and up to termination.
You can find a number of company vehicle and driver safety policies online that you can adapt for your use. Here’s one posted by an insurance agent.