10 Tips for Employers to Reduce Company Rental Vehicle Crashes
Company rental vehicle crashes cost employers billions annually and are preventable. According to OSHA:
- Company rental vehicle crashes cost employers $60 billion a year from lost productivity, medical care, legal costs and property damage
- Costs of benefits increase with each accident. Workers’ compensation, social security, and private health and disability insurance can all be effected.
- An average crash costs an organization $16,500
- The average cost of an on-the-job crash resulting in an injury is $74,000 for employers
- Indirect costs such as administrative costs, supervisors time, overtime pay (to employees that cover injured employees), bad publicity for the company leading to loss of business.
There are several strategies you can use to limit the number of driving-related accidents within your company. Consider the following tips:
- Create a safe driver incentive program
Incentives for safe driving are an effective way to promote safe drivers and reduce motor vehicle accidents. OSHA explains that “Your program should work to keep the driver and those with whom he/she shares the road safely. And, if necessary, the program must work to change driver attitudes, improve behavior, and increase skills to build a “be safe” culture. Come up with rewards that your drivers would value. Sell it with importance and make it a big deal with a company-wide announcement. It is also crucial that you monitor progress and follow through with the incentives.
“You need a driver safety program that must work to change driver attitudes, improve behavior, and increase skills to build a ‘be safe’ culture. By instructing your employees in basic driving practices and then rewarding safety-conscious behavior, you can help your employees and their families avoid tragedy. Employees are an employer’s most valuable asset. Workplace driver safety programs not only make good business sense but are also a good employee relations tool, demonstrating that employers care about their employees.”
– The Us Department of Labor
- Disciplinary action for driving infractions
Just like good drivers should be rewarded, you should have a disciplinary action plan that you will carry out upon a preventable work-related accident. Employees will be more likely to adhere to the safety guidelines if they know there will be a consequence if they don’t.
- Proper vehicle maintenance and quality
If your employees drive a fleet truck that is older or has not been well maintained, they are more prone to accidents. A tire blow out on the freeway could be disastrous. Make sure your vehicles are maintained in a way that ensures the employee with the highest safety possible.
- Utilize available resources
For more information and assistance in implementing a traffic safety program in your workplace, you can contact the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
- Network of Employers for Traffic Safety
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- Ongoing safety training
Motor vehicle training should be an on-going conversation with your employees. Hold regular training meetings on safety issues to discuss new information or to go over standard safety procedures like proper use of seatbelts and distracted driving.
- Driver screening
One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to verify potential employees driving records. They are available upon request from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Management commitment and employee involvement
Management should provide leadership, resources, and set policies to maintain a safety culture. Encouraging employee engagement in regular trainings is good practice and will aid in your efforts.
- Driver contracts/agreements
Consider establishing contracts with potential and current employees who drive company vehicles. This will give you a solid base and mutual understanding of safety expectations. This will also be a reference to any disciplinary action you need to take for driving infractions.
- Promote preparedness.
- Know your destination and double check your route.
- Be well rested and alert.
- Adjust the vehicles mirrors and seat or any other settings that could be a potential risk to adjust while driving.
- Encourage employees to communicate with fellow drivers
Sharing information about hazardous road conditions or unsafe routes can prevent accidents. Inform employees to report any concerns to co-workers who might be traveling the same roads. Alternate routes that are safer can be used and you might even save time by avoiding backed up traffic.
Vehicle accidents can be avoided by being proactive and following these tips.