Clients depend on your caregiver employees for many of their daily transportation needs. They also depend on the safety of employee drivers. Creating a safe driving program will benefit your employees, your organization and your clients.

Creating a safe driving program for your company vehicles and drivers can reduce workplace injuries and workers’ compensation claims, protect the organization’s property and financial assets and reduce the risk of a liability lawsuit. Here are 10 steps to get started:

1. Involve All Stakeholders in Planning

Successful safe driving programs involve both senior management and employee drivers in the planning phase. Participation by stakeholders at all levels ensures everyone is on the same page.

2. Document Policies and Procedures

Document in writing the purpose and goals of your safety program. Commit to reducing traffic accidents and injuries by taking specific steps and implementing policies about seat belts, alcohol/drugs, distracted driving and so on.

3. Require Driver Agreements

Have employee caregivers who will be driving for your organization sign an agreement committing to safe driving. An agreement can help set expectations, increase awareness and positively influence behavior.

4. Conduct Driver Screening and Record Checks

Screen any employees who will be driving clients or company vehicles to reduce your initial risk. Poor driving records with DUIs, aggressive driving and other problems should be screened out. Continue to check driving records periodically.

5. Report and Investigate Traffic Incidents

With a goal of eliminating preventable accidents, the safety program needs to study accidents that do occur. Require drivers to report all incidents. Have a process for determining how similar accidents can be prevented in the future.

6. Choose and Maintain Vehicles

Part of a driving safety program involves the vehicles themselves. When purchasing new company vehicles, choose models with high safety ratings. Ensure regular preventative maintenance and fleet inspections.

7. Design a System for Enforcing Policies and Procedures

Your organization should determine how to handle enforcement of the safety program’s policies and procedures, including policy violations that will lead to specific disciplinary actions or corrective measures.

8. Offer Safe Driving Rewards and Incentives

You can improve safety and your organizational culture by implementing rewards and incentives for caregiver employees who are safe drivers. Recognition, prizes and special privileges are common rewards for reaching safety goals.

9. Launch Training for the Program

When it is time to launch the program, ensure that caregiving employees receive the proper training. Focus on safe driving training, following company policies and procedures and understanding of your expectations and goals.

10. Ensure Rules and Regulations Compliance

Compliance with all laws, rules and regulations is also key. Make sure your safe driving program meets employer, industry and government highway standards. See OSHA guidelines for more information about creating safe driving programs.

Reduce Risk and Protect Your Organization by Creating a Safe Driving Program

When you are creating a safe driving program, it’s also important to be compliant with the terms of your insurance policies and that you have adequate coverage.

Your organization can be held liable for any accidents or incidents involving your drivers, vehicles you own and potentially even those vehicles you don’t own. A key factor in claims is often negligence screening, training or monitoring drivers — hence the importance of a good safe driving program.

Commercial Auto Insurance coverage from Lockton Affinity can help you protect your organization from legal fees and damages when your fleet vehicles are involved in a crash. Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability Insurance (HNOA) from Lockton Affinity protects you when your employees are driving their own vehicles or rented vehicles for business purposes. These policies can help you reduce your risk and limit exposures.

Call Lockton Affinity at (800) 723-9624 to learn more about Commercial Auto and HNOA Insurance for your organization.