Keeping Employees Safe on the Road: Best Practices to Enforce

Keep your driving employees safe.
Keep your driving employees safe.

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Auto accidents are the number one cause of worktime fatalities according to the Network for Employers for Traffic Safety. Even in the car, employees are the responsibility of the employer. This includes such routine happenings as coffee runs and picking up petty cash during lunch time.
If you have employees who drive often on the company’s behalf then place some safeguards to protect your people and your company.

Teach Them To Handle Any Situation

The value of good training cannot be underestimated. In a safe driving guideline publication from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), good driving habits and behaviors are the primary method for keeping your drivers safe. It instructs drivers to stay focused, be alert for changing traffic situations, and stay cool in traffic. Use to routinely test and re-evaluate your employees’ abilities to drive and maintain a safe driving psychology. This will serve the dual purpose of identifying poor drivers and reinforcing good drivers’ safety habits. Make it part of your annual evaluation process for anyone who drives as part of their job function.

Make Alcohol Out Of The Question

Chemical impairment from alcohol or drugs is one of the primary sources of high damage, avoidable automobile accidents. If you have a company car or a fleet of vehicles, equip them with an auto interlock device. These devices interact with the startup system of the car, preventing the automobile from starting if the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. By installing these devices, the company protects the employees from their own poor actions, removes much of the legal responsibility, and save lives and money. Some insurance companies will give discounts for these types of safeguards in the automobiles.

Screen For Medication Impairment

Make it part of your policies and procedures that employees must disclose medication use that could hamper driving ability. Because of ADA regulations, this needs to be consistently applied to all employees. This may be a can of worms but it is an important can that must get opened. There are various medications that can impair a person’s ability to drive or use heavy machinery so the company cannot turn a blind eye. Federal regulations dictate that the policies of the company must gather the information in a manner that does not force the disclosure of a person’s disability or single out a disabled employee.

Go Hands Free

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 14 states and several U.S. territories have regulations against driving while holding a cellphone. Unfortunately, workplace productivity often requires communication between the office and the driver. Make sure that all of the cars and mobile devices are equipped with Bluetooth hands-free functionality.
There is a wide availability of free or affordable talk-to-text and hands-free applications for both the Android and iOS systems. Use these to maintain safety and efficiency. Some of them also allow access to the GPS so that your company can do central scheduling while keeping your staff safe.

Teach Them to Keep Cool In Traffic

Driving in traffic can be stressful and stress leads to accidents. Have you employees plot out the trip in advance. Use the GPS system as a support for the driver. Instruct them to keep the office informed and, if the driver is going to be late, let the office staff make new arrangements.

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