The National Safety Council reported that more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2016, making it the deadliest year for American drivers in recent times. The cost of these deaths, injuries, and damage to property was in excess of $400 billion, including medical expenses, lost productivity, and employer costs.
Certain occupations are inherently at high risk – bus and truck drivers, delivery personnel, and maintenance workers spend most of their working hours on the road. But every employee is behind the wheel at some point – driving to meetings, visiting a client, or going to a site. Whether you provide vehicles to employees or they drive their own for work-related activities, as a business owner, it is important to address safe driving for employees in your organization. Studies have shown that the cost of implementing a driver safety program is far less than the cost of motor vehicle crashes. Here are 5 ways to ensure safe driving at work:
1. Control Distracted Driving
The CDC reports that more than 1000 people are injured and 9 people die every day as a result of distracted driving. Cell phones and other portable devices are often to blame, but your business can use technology to solve the problem. There are a host of apps to prevent distracted driving, some of which track the vehicle while others block texts and calls while on the move. Some apps even offer a business version for operators of large fleets.
2. Limit Driving Hours
The FMCSA has issued hours of service regulations in the United States, outlining the hourly driving limits for passenger- and property-carrying drivers. The European Union has enforced similar limits on driving hours for commercial drivers. Your business should ensure that these regulations are followed and no employee is driving in excess of the daily or weekly driving limit.
3. Select Appropriate Vehicles and Drivers
The vehicles your employees are driving should be appropriate for the type of work they are carrying out. The drivers of these vehicles should be properly trained and licensed to operate them. You may have to pay a little extra to hire competent drivers for your fleet, but the return on investment will undoubtedly be worth it.
4. Manage Logistics
Good business logistics management ensures that deadlines are met without resorting to unrealistic delivery schedules. This ensures drivers do not take any unnecessary risks, such as exceeding the speed limit. Invest in high-quality supply chain management for a more efficient business and greater safety.
5. Encourage Teleconferencing and Public Transport
By limiting the time your employees spend on the road in individual vehicles, you can automatically curtail risk while also saving money. Encourage the use of public transport, endorse teleconferencing instead of face-to-face meetings, and offer incentives to employees who carpool.