A well-crafted and well-enforced driver safety policy is a low-cost strategy that will serve to mitigate risk and cost on a surprising scale. While driver safety policies aren’t necessarily a regulatory requirement, if your organization has a fleet of company vehicles or employees who drive their own vehicles during the scope of employment, then it’s crucial to consider. A driver safety policy is one of the handful of components we strongly recommend including in a comprehensive driver safety program if you’re looking to confidently mitigate risk. Here’s why…
Why Do Companies Need a Driver Safety Policy?
Driver safety policies are imperative because they set the standard for what safety looks like at your company. They help your driver population understand that careless driving habits are not tolerated (over 90% of crashes are caused by human error!). Through communicating and enforcing driver responsibilities from the get-go, you will inevitably experience a lower incidence of preventable crashes and claims. As a result, you can expect to see reductions in costs, from insurance premiums to litigation.
What Should You Include in Your Driver Safety Policy?
An effective driver safety policy must address certain basic items and may include additional policies and procedures specific to your company’s operations. Of these basic requirements, the following elements should be present in any effective driver safety policy:
A policy statement offers your company the opportunity to state that safety is administered centrally through the company headquarters. It’s the introduction to the safety policy, stating overarching goals and explaining what drivers should expect as they read through the document. You can find a sample policy statement by downloading our white paper below!
This section should define important terms such as “Safety Sensitive Function” or “Commercial Motor Vehicle.” It’s important to establish company-wide definitions for terms that may be used on a day-to-day basis, especially those that may be unique to your business. It gives your drivers a dependable resource to refer back to if they ever need a refresher.
Qualification and Hiring Procedures
It’s important to spell out requirements for becoming a qualified driver at your company. This may include license requirements, an investigation of previous employment, pre-employment controlled substances testing and other components your company may require. You should also explain what makes a driver ineligible for hiring or disqualified while employed by the company. We also recommend including a Fair Credit Reporting Act disclosure.
Driver Qualification Files and Driver Record
Even if your company is not a traditional regulated carrier, we recommend keeping certain documentation such as driver licenses, applications, MVRs or road tests in driver files. This section should discuss the specific elements included in each driver’s driver qualification file as well as any driver responsibilities related to required documents (such as medical cards).
Drug and Alcohol Policy
A regulated motor carrier is required to implement a company drug and alcohol policy in accordance with 49 CFR 382.601. But any company may elect to include a drug and alcohol policy as a distinct component of its driver safety policy. Because they are so important, some companies elect to have a stand-alone drug and alcohol policy.
Explore Our Complete List of Driver Safety Policy Recommendations
There are other recommended components of a driver safety policy beyond those listed above that are important for companies to implement, including records retention, a progressive discipline policy, and more.
To dive deeper into the full list of components needed for a comprehensive safety policy, download this checklist.
If you enjoyed this article, we recommend the following:
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Driver Error: The Most Common Cause of Vehicle Crashes