Besides the safety risk that car crashes present to employees, another major reason a company should take steps to reduce preventable rental vehicle crashes is to save money. Your company may be spending billions on different costs associated with an on-the-job rental vehicle crash. Some of these costs may include paying for medical and legal expenses as well as property damage.
A crash in a company vehicle during work hours while work is being done can open the company up for major expenses and bad press that can be avoided with a few simple steps.
- Be Proactive!
Don’t wait for a crash to happen to make your move. Create policies NOW that will incentivize employees to be more cautious when operating rental vehicles on the job. As human beings, we are greatly motivated by incentives. So, creating a plan that offers incentives based on good driving practices can go a long way to minimize the number of preventable crashes in company vehicles.
Make sure to create a plan that can be shared and that involves an incentive big enough that will catch the attention of your drivers. If the drivers in your company don’t care about your incentive, nothing will change. Consider asking what kinds of things your employees value through regular face-to-face conversations or try sending out a company wide poll with a few incentive options that they can vote on. Make sure you monitor how well your new plan works out. Data is the best way to verify that what you’re doing is working. If the numbers don’t change – try something new.
- Make Consequences for Poor Driving Known
We all want change to be as easy as offering rewards for good behavior; however, this system needs to be well balanced with a counter dis-incentive for those employees with work-related driving infractions. It’s harder for workers to ignore safety rules when there is a consequence for not following them. Make sure all rules are well documented, distributed, and understood by all employees.
- Keep the Rental Vehicle’s Maintenance Up-to-Date
Sometimes it’s not always an employee issue that causes preventable wrecks in rental vehicles. A neglected vehicle can quickly become an unsafe vehicle. Making sure your vehicles receive the proper maintenance regularly can both prevent employees from getting hurt and save you from potential legal issues.
If you are making rules, regulations, incentives, and consequences for your employees to create better habits and increase awareness on the road, you need to do your part as well. Create a process for regular maintenance to keep your vehicle from being the cause of major injury on the road.
- Conduct Thorough Research
The fact that you’re reading this article shows that you care about your company and the safety of your employees. However, there are several more resources out there that can help walk you through exactly what these programs, incentives, and plans could look like. It can seem a little daunting to create something from scratch, but there is plenty of help out there from reliable sources including:
- The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS)
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
These bodies of power were put in place as resources for you. Use them as much as you can.
- Keep Reminding Employees About New Policies and Safety
If you have employees that regularly drive rental vehicle for work, you can’t just give a training once and forget about it Ongoing reminders are the best way to keep safety procedures and new policies at the forefront of your employees’ minds.
Create a culture where these discussions are apart of your company’s regular training pograms. It never hurts to remind those in more dangerous jobs the precautions they should take to protect themselves and others on the road. Once regular trainings are in place, and employees are well versed on the material, it’s easier and more effective to enforce consequences as well.
- Choose Your Drivers Carefully
Preventing on-the-job vehicle wrecks should start during the hiring process. If you employee people to drive vehicles, it is important to check their driving history records to see if they are a common offender. This is something you can get from the DMV. Although it may seem like a hassle, this step can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Something else that may be helpful is to have new (and existing) employees sign a safety contract. This is a physical and permanent way to ensure that you and your employees are on the same page when it comes to safety expectations. It is also something that you can have on hand to refer to whenever a disciplinary action is taken against an employee who is breaking the contract. It’s never a bad idea to cover all of your bases!
- Safety Training Examples
Here are a few things you can train your employees to promote safety and prevent crashes in the long run.
- Always know where you’re going and how to get there before driving.
- Don’t drive drowsy or impaired in any way.
- Make sure all vehicle mirrors, seats, and other settings are where you want/need them to be before driving.
- Don’t hold a phone GPS while driving. An employer may consider putting a GPS in each vehicle for hands-free navigation.
- Be aware and communicate with those on the road around you.
- Have employees pay attention to anything concerning while they drive (whether with the vehicle or fellow employees)
- Use common sense and always be aware. Don’t put yourself in any situation that can cause harm to you, others, or the vehicle.
Not all wrecks in rental vehicles can be avoided, but keeping these steps in mind can help reduce the number of preventable crashes for your company.