Fleet Safety Policies and Motor Vehicle Records
Two Key Aspects of a Comprehensive Fleet Program
Many different elements form the recipe for a perfect fleet program. Vehicle selection, acquisition, registration, insurance, maintenance, disposition, and fuel policies are all essential pieces of a comprehensive fleet program. However, the detail of safety is often overlooked. Safety applies not only to the rules outlined for employee use of company vehicles but also to the process by which your company vets its drivers. If neglected, these two areas could result in massive liability risks. In this article, we will highlight the importance of fleet safety policies, the impact a motor vehicle records check can have, and how a fleet management company can ensure your policies are iron-clad.
Fleet Safety Policies
Fleet safety policies are the most important guidelines your fleet will ever create; that is no exaggeration. Neglecting to develop a safety policy may cost your organization millions of dollars. The safety policy will serve as the standard to which all of your drivers will be held and will protect your company in the event of a lawsuit. If your policy is ambiguous and contains loopholes and omissions, your company could be open to serious liability risks. Take Coca-Cola, for example, who found themselves at a loss of $21M for this very reason.
Your safety policy must cover various topics, including distracted driving, seat belt usage, driver education, violation and accident procedures, Motor Vehicle Reports, consequences, rewards, and more.
Clearly outlining your expectations in writing leaves little room for interpretation when a situation arises. A comprehensive policy also conveys to your drivers the seriousness with which the company takes the topic of safety. All drivers should read and sign that they understand your safety policy prior to getting behind the wheel. This signed acknowledgment should also be stored in their employee file.
With over 75 years of experience working with organizations across all verticals, we understand that creating a comprehensive fleet vehicle safety policy may not be your area of expertise. We can advise and work collaboratively with your legal department to develop a tailored policy that suits your organization’s specific needs. We are committed to helping our clients maintain safe and efficient fleets.
Motor Vehicle Records Checks
A Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) check is one of the most common methods employers can utilize to identify potentially problematic patterns and behavior in their drivers. As the name implies, an MVR check allows employers to verify the driving record of their potential hires.
Why is this important? Negligent Entrustment.
This term refers to the act of entrusting a dangerous article, such as a car, to someone that is reckless, inexperienced, or incompetent to use the device safely.
When a company provides a driver with a vehicle, they’re essentially certifying a driver’s competence. However, when a company doesn’t perform its due diligence, this opens the door to potential lawsuits.
One example involves the company Xerox. In 2012, a Xerox service technician struck and killed a pedestrian. The driver, operating a company-provided van, was intoxicated at the time of the incident. Furthermore, the driver had a history of DUIs, with two previous convictions and a 2-year license suspension. Xerox admitted that throughout this employee’s 22-year career, the organization never checked the driver’s MVR. As a result, the victim’s family settled with Xerox for a sum of $5 million.
If your company isn’t performing MVR checks, we recommend starting immediately with existing or new drivers. However, running them once isn’t enough. Records change over time, and an otherwise safe driver may eventually demonstrate reckless behavior. For that reason, many companies are now making it a procedure to run annual MVR checks on all employees who operate vehicles during their tenure with an organization. Moreover, in some cases, companies utilize a service that allows for continuous monitoring of new violations.
While this may seem like an enormous administrative burden, it doesn’t have to be. Fleet management companies, like Motorlease, specialize in performing this task on behalf of their clients and can facilitate the entire process. Removing this burden allows your supervisors to ensure that safe and reliable drivers are using company vehicles without the headaches involved in performing the checks in accordance with all local laws and ordinances.
Ready to wave goodbye to fleet management headaches?Let Motorlease take the wheel! Our fleet experts will handle all your vehicle needs. Experience the joyride of turnkey fleet management!