Road Safety: How to Ensure Your Employees Are Safe Behind the Wheel
Did you know the number of licensed drivers in the US in 2019 was 227,752 thousand? And that this number is estimated to be counted as having been 230,000 thousand in 2020? Many people are on the road, so the potential for accidents is high. It is essential to ensure road safety.
This fact can be scary to be aware of, especially if you run a business with a fleet of vehicles. And road safety is one of your top concerns. These risks affect your business and the people in it.
To ensure your employees are safe, you must be aware of all the road safety rules so that you can tell your employees about them. You also need to develop the proper road safety tips applicable to the vehicles in your fleet. Putting all this information together can be stressful and take up a lot of time.
That’s why we’re providing this article to you. You can ensure they’re safe on the road and focus on what matters most. This is running your business successfully. Read on to learn more.
Be Aware of Your Responsibilities
As a business owner of a company that has employees driving what your responsibilities are. These responsibilities are both legal and practical. You’ll know what you’re responsible for versus what your employees are responsible for.
The Vehicles in Your Fleet
When managing many vehicles in your fleet, you must ensure you do everything properly with them before allowing your employees to use them. The first step in this is doing a safety check of the car. This includes any that are legally required, such as smog checks.
Do any safety checks that ensure your employees’ safety when using your fleet. Your guidelines should be those mandated by your state and federal levels.
Do Employee Safety Checks
You also need to ensure your employees are responsible enough to drive them safely. The first thing you need to do in these terms is to check that your employees have valid driver’s licenses.
This is a check you should do regularly. You need to create a process so your employees can let you know if they have any health issues impairing their driving. Or, if they are taking medication, that would do the same.
Depending on how you run your business, you might also require random alcohol or drug testing. Additionally, provide any training if your fleet’s vehicles are more challenging to handle than ordinary cars.
Do the Right Paperwork
You must also do the proper paperwork to ensure your fleet’s safety. For example, you must put together a document with all your safety expectations for your employees. We’ll discuss this a bit more later in this article.
You also need to fill out any auto insurance information. This is insuring both the vehicle and drivers for business use when they’re driving for your company. That way, if there is an accident, coverage is given accordingly.
Use a Check-Off Sheet
Now that you know your general responsibilities regarding fleet safety, we’ll cover the different strategies you can apply. This ensures that the people driving your fleet are safe in practice. The first is to have your employees use a check-off sheet whenever they use one of your fleet’s vehicles.
This check-off sheet should be filled out when they pick up the vehicle and drop it off. If there are any issues with the car or actual damage, they can report it immediately. So that any safety issues are addressed before the next driver uses the car.
Give Your Expectations
It’s also essential to give your employees your expectations regarding car and road safety. By demonstrating how you expect them to drive the car and what steps they need to take before and after using it, they will know what you mean by car safety. When giving your employees your expectations, ensure you cover the following:
- What will happen if they misuse the company vehicle
- What traffic laws do they need to follow, especially those related to distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or anything else, and speeding
- What are their responsibilities if there’s an accident, even if it was caused by a driver who wasn’t them
- Who do they need to contact for an accident, and what are the numbers for your company’s auto insurance and roadside assistance providers?
- Rules related to what to do when they’re away from the vehicle (for example, delivering a package), such as locking it and putting the keys in the right place
- Whether you will ask drivers to take alcohol or drug tests
- Your policy on cell phone use (we recommend having drivers not use them at all, even if they are with
By providing your employees with these guidelines, they’ll know exactly what traffic rules they need to heed and which road safety signs apply to them. Additionally, they’ll have a protocol they can follow if they’re in an accident.
Additional Safety Considerations
In addition to having set expectations for how your employees should use their cars, there are additional safety considerations you need to think about. By making these considerations part of your company’s processes, your employees will have all the advantages of road safety awareness.
If you’re committed to your employees’ safety when driving the cars in your fleet, we recommend you cover their driving lessons. Especially if your fleet is made up of different vehicles than those we usually use (for example, trucks), then providing your staff with driving lessons is essential.
Additionally, if your employees are expected to drive through inclement weather, rush hour traffic, or in the middle of the night when visibility is low, providing them with driving lessons that focus on these types of environments for driving will keep everyone safer.
Depending on the type of driving lessons you offer your employees, you might be able to get a discount on your fleetwide car insurance. Speak with your provider about this.
Specific Vehicle Safety
Many vehicles work differently than others. When providing your employees with access to your fleet, explain the different security features of the vehicle so that they know what to do in different emergencies. Additionally, ensure they know how to properly use technological features such as sat-navs or cruise control.
Safe Storage and Parking
You should also guide your employees on storing things in the car. If there is a crash, you want to ensure there isn’t the risk of anything flying out toward them and hurting them (or the car). Additionally, they should know about the safest places to park and how to park so they are less likely to damage your fleet’s car or another car.
Have a Fleet Safety Meeting
Once you know what expectations and security measures you’ll be covering with your employees and what you’ll include in the check-off sheet for them to review when they pick up or drop off a car, you can cement all this knowledge by having a fleet safety meeting.
When holding your meeting, do it in a parking lot to show your employees exactly what you mean when explaining car features and what to check off when completing their check-off sheet. You can also do training there so that they learn by doing, internalizing what you’ve taught them in the meeting.
You can also have additional fleet safety meetings in the office, where you review all the rules and regulations in presentations and videos. We suggest you have these office meetings monthly, with the fleet safety meeting required every few months—and for any new employee when you hire them.
Provide Documented Guidance
Once you’ve done the fleet safety meeting and reviewed everything with your employees, you should provide documented guidance. This way, they can refer to it whenever necessary. Have a version saved online of all your company’s rules and regulations. Additionally, include a binder with all these regulations in each vehicle in your company fleet.
Providing documented guidance also allows your employees to take tests on their knowledge of rules. Have them study every month or so, after which you’ll give them a test to ensure they know what they need.
Winter Driving Tips
Because driving during the winter can be so dangerous, we’ve put together some strategies you want your employees to use when driving safely in the winter. The last thing you want is for an employee’s life to be in danger because they’re out on the side of the road in the middle of a blizzard with no one to help them.
Inspect the Car Before Driving
The first thing your drivers need to do when driving in winter is to inspect the car before driving. They should ensure the battery is working (since cold temperatures can affect its function), fluid levels are at the right level, all lights are working, and brakes and windshield wipers are working.
Additionally, because the cold can affect tire pressure, they should ensure tires are filled correctly. Also, the windshield defroster and heater should be working. Finally, the gas tank should be between half and entirely full. This way, the driver can stay warm even if the car gets stuck in a snowbank or ice.
Have the Right Gear
When driving a vehicle in winter, a driver must have the right gear. This includes being adequately dressed for the weather (in case it gets cold) and having winter-related car gear such as jumper cables, extra wiper fluid, a snow scraper and snow brush, and a flashlight.
Use the Right Driving Techniques
Driving safely in the winter requires using the proper driving techniques. As mentioned, providing your drivers with driving lessons can be helpful. Some of these driving techniques include:
- Not driving close to snowplows since their visibility is limited.
- Not stopping when going uphill, since the vehicle can slide backward if it’s an icy surface.
- Knowing how to use the brakes properly, especially on icy surfaces, the driver should also be aware of the car having antilock brakes since these work differently.
- Not using cruise control.
- Follow cars from a considerable distance since braking can take longer on slippery or icy roads.
- Driving slowly because driving fast on roads that are slippery or icy is dangerous
By telling your employees about the proper driving techniques, the right gear, and how to inspect their car before winter, they’ll be safer when driving on roads in the winter. This information is also worth documenting so they can review it before getting into their car on a cold winter day.
Do You Need More Road Safety Tips?
Do you need more road safety tips? Maybe you want to know the best insurance for your business’s fleet or how best to prepare your team for a fleet safety meeting. Whatever you need to know, we’re here to help.
At Advantage Insurance Solutions in Denver, CO, we’re experts in keeping you and your team safe. We can give you more road safety tips or discuss the best insurance options to keep you covered. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us here.