Now that you know how to create a safety policy that works for your organization, it feels best to dive into how you optimize and enforce such an endeavor. Every single day, there are more than 16,000 car crashes in the United States with someone suffering an injury half the time. As an employer, you may not be able to completely mitigate the risk of car crashes among your employees and fleet drivers, but instead can take steps to make sure that your drivers are as safe as possible.
One such step is the creation and enforcement of a driver safety policy for everyone who drives on the clock on behalf of you company. You don’t need to have a fleet of commercially licensed drivers for these safety tips to apply to you. Any company whose employees or contractors operate any vehicle for work, including personal vehicles, are liable for their actions and behaviors.
Here are some important tips to help employers build and enforce a comprehensive driver safety policy.
Regardless of which rules you put in place, your driver safety policy needs transparency and communication if it’s going to have an impact. Your company’s commitment to safety and the terms of driving need top of mind for employees every time they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Small reminders can also help employees keep safety top of mind. A catchy and memorable safety slogan in an email signature, mention of driver safety in meetings, recognition of great drivers and company-wide emails or newsletters with an emphasis on safety are all good ways to remind employees that safety is a priority.
Create a company-wide safety policy
If you want your drivers to embrace a culture of safety, your policies need to be universal. A comprehensive driver safety policy should include a no-exceptions seat belt policy, continuous motor vehicle record (MVR) monitoring, a clear explanation of your MVR review policy for both new and ongoing drivers, training that’s expected and available to your employees, the process for how infractions are reviewed and policy extension to personal vehicle use.
Furthermore, you need to ensure that the policy is written clearly and is accessible to all that it covers, including new hires. You don’t want any room for confusion when it comes to policy wording, how it will be enforced or to whom it applies. Rules and consequences for breaking the policy should be clear, simple and consistent.
It’s also important that rules be consistently enforced. No one gets a pass on violating the driver safety policy — it doesn’t matter if you’re driving around the corner, if you’re in a hurry, or even if you’re the CEO — rules are rules. Inconsistent enforcement can lead to resentment and a lax perspective on safety.
Institute a seat belt policy
Seatbelts are one of the simplest ways to foster a culture of safety, but nearly 30 million Americans still don’t buckle up on a regular basis. Make no exceptions to this rule. Whether it’s for short drives or long hauls, every person in a vehicle has to buckle up before it moves. Emphasize this policy in work vehicles and personal vehicles alike.
A seat belt policy isn’t the end-all, be-all of driver safety, but it serves as an excellent example of personal and corporate responsibility, as well as responsibility for the safety of others. Some companies even go so far as to put cameras at their work sites so they can track the percentage of employees arriving to work wearing a seatbelt. They then publish the results and incentivize compliance for everyone.
Emphasize safety when selecting vehicles
Not every company owns their own vehicles, but if you do, you have the opportunity to choose vehicles that prioritize safety for drivers, passengers and communities. Safe driving is a two-way street. It’s hypocritical to demand safe driving practices from your employees if you’re not offering them vehicles that keep them safe and optimize safe-driving practices.
If you do purchase your own company vehicles, be sure to emphasize safety features to your employees. Calling attention to vehicle safety will remind your drivers that safety is a priority, encouraging a culture of safety as a result.
Offer recognition for safety policy accomplishments
In 2018, a Cleveland bus driver made the news for driving 40 years — and 1.2 million miles — without a preventable crash. The standard set by the Cleveland RTA is that drivers have fewer than 14 preventable crashes per million miles, so his accomplishment was rightfully celebrated.
You can do the same at your company, celebrating mileage and time without incidents. Recognition can come in many forms — mentions in company newsletters, press releases, commendations from executives or even gifts — and drivers who see that recognition know that safety is valued, emphasized and rewarded.
Know the value of continuous driver monitoring
If one of your drivers gets into a crash and injures someone, the other party’s lawyer will likely check their driving records. If it turns out that they had a DUI and crash since the last time you checked their records, it calls into question why you were allowing this employee to drive for you in the first place.
That’s why continuous driver monitoring is so important. Rather than manually pulling (and paying for) a new MVR every month, SambaSafety monitors MVRs for negative changes. If a change occurs, we let you know. If no change occurs, you don’t have to waste time and money checking the MVR.
Make sure your drivers know their MVRs are continuously monitored. Not only will this policy create a culture of responsibility and accountability but will showcase your dedication to safety as a whole.