Reducing risks to your business vehicles

February 5, 2021

Whether you own or lease just one business car or an entire fleet of business vehicles, you will need to purchase commercial auto insurance. An insurance professional can help you weigh your risks and decide on the most appropriate coverage options.

Even with insurance in place, it is always wise to take steps to prevent accidents, and protect your employees who drive these vehicles. Your business can reduce the chance of an accident by establishing the following policies and practices. 

Driving Rules

When it comes to safety and the protection of your employees and vehicles, you should set firm rules that must be followed at all times. 

  • Mandatory seat belt use – Nearly every state has a seat belt law. These laws help prevent deaths and limit injuries in vehicle accidents. There is no excuse not to wear a seat belt! 
  • Zero tolerance for intoxicants – Even one alcoholic beverage can impair a driver. Employees should never drink or use other intoxicants before operating a business vehicle. 
  • No cellphone or devices – Distracted driving Is a leading cause of accidents. In Iowa, cellphone use is banned while driving. Prohibit employees from taking calls or texting while driving. 
  • Use technology – Now more than ever there are great options available using telematics to help employers monitor driver activity and driving habbits. An employer can manage risk by knowing what their employees do while driving.

Vehicle use guidelines

Other rules may be more flexible, but you should consider instituting policies and adhering to the following practices as appropriate:

  • Limit non-business use of vehicles – Limit business vehicle use to work-related travel when possible. 
  • Slow down – Scheduling should allow sufficient travel time between meetings and assignments. As a business owner, never create such a frantic pace that employees are encouraged to speed. Not only can this reduce the chance of an accident, but it will also help fuel efficiency.
  • Lock and secure vehicles – Employees should always lock vehicles when on the job. Whenever possible, vehicles should be parked in safe, well-lit areas. 

Employee-focused practices to reduce risk

  • Know your employees – Before hiring employees who will drive company vehicles, check their driving records with the motor vehicle department. Limit or ban driving by employees with a history of accidents or moving violations. Additionally, employees should be required to report accidents they have while not working. 
  • Provide training – Employees who drive work vehicles should be provided with driver training. This course may be a refresher for some, but it should cover essential safety practices. 

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