As a business owner with branded vehicles on the road, you have a lot to think about. Are you properly protected against the potential risk? What do consumers think when they see your vehicle on the road? Your vehicles are an extension of your brand, and the safety of your drivers is part of managing your brand’s image. By Susan Kothe & Ashley Thomas
As a business owner with branded vehicles on the road, you have a lot to think about. Are you properly protected against the potential risk? What do consumers think when they see your vehicle on the road? Your vehicles are an extension of your brand, and the safety of your drivers is part of managing your brand’s image. In addition, maintaining safety standards can limit exposure to liability claims. It’s important that you focus on properly protecting your business and your drivers from the potential risks posed by unsafe driving. Here are a few things you can do to limit your risk.
Educate Your Employees
You can reduce work-related auto accidents by educating your employees about driving safely. Consider hiring a driving educator to give your workers a refresher course on safe driving fundamentals, like getting adequate sleep and staying off their cellphones and handheld devices while driving. Reinforce the importance of staying focused and alert behind the wheel in the prevention of vehicle accidents on the job.
Maintain Work Vehicles
Perform a monthly comprehensive safety inspection on each of your company vehicles. This will ensure that your vehicle doesn’t dangerously malfunction while it’s on the road, preventing accidents before they have the opportunity to occur, and keeping your employees safe while on the job. You should also regularly clean your branded vehicles, both inside and out, to maintain a good impression on clients and those who see your vehicles on the road.
It’s important to remind your drivers that when they’re out on the road in one of your branded vehicles, they act as a moving billboard. As such, they should always use turn signals and respect “right of way” guidelines with other drivers and pedestrians they encounter.
Overworked drivers are unsafe drivers, and some workers may have trouble staying awake during late-night shifts. Ensure you have enough staff within your organization so that drivers are able to take regular breaks and have days off – this will help prevent accidents that occur as a result of employee exhaustion. Additionally, you should have requirements in place for drivers you’re hiring into your organization. Enforce a minimum age requirement, and ensure that your employees have valid driver’s licenses and can pass a road test before they begin work.
Implement an Incentive Program
Encourage employees to stay aware of vehicle safety on the job by offering them an incentive for keeping a good driving record. Whether that’s a gift card to the “best” or safest driver each month, or an annual bonus, this will help keep drivers motivated to take the proper safety precautions while driving. Similarly, you should have a discipline system in place for unsafe drivers, including thorough reports and disciplinary action taken against drivers who are at fault for workplace accidents. Learn how to recognize signs of impairment from drugs or alcohol before sending your employees out on the job, and discipline employees accordingly who are impaired at work.
Unsafe driving is dangerous in any scenario, but if you own a franchise that uses branded vehicles, it can also be dangerous to the brand and pose a risk of liability claims against both you and your employees. That’s why it’s especially important to not only take steps to mitigate the risk of accidents, but also to ensure that you have the best insurance coverage in the event of a claim being filed against your business.
– Susan Kothe & Ashley Thomas
Susan Kothe, CFE, and Ashley Thomas, CFE, are licensed insurance experts who specialize in working with franchise owners at Gallagher Franchise Solutions. With a national practice that spans throughout the U.S. and into Canada, Susan and Ashley have a deep understanding of the specific risks associated with franchisees and franchisors. When it comes to small-business risk, they’ve seen it all. For a free consultation, you may reach them at: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.