Running a business that uses multiple vehicles takes a fair amount of oversight. You have to make sure you keep the fleet in good shape. You also have to make sure deliveries get to customers safely. This will involve hiring a team of responsible drivers.
Some drivers might use company cars all day, every day. Others might only drive as an occasional part of their duties. Still, whenever employees drive, they present risks to themselves, the vehicle and others. And they also present risks to your business.
It's often the business's prerogative to scrutinize employees enlisted to drive company vehicles. This action helps to ensure these employees are up to the task of commercial driving. The business needs to protect their drivers. By doing so, they protect a valuable business interest.
Give Company Drivers Commercial Auto Insurance
If a business owns vehicles or enlists drivers, they often need commercial auto insurance. This protection will contain tailored specifications to protect the business' interests. It's often similar to a standard car insurance policy, yet vastly different in certain ways.
Do not attempt to insure your commercial fleet with personal auto insurance. These policies often void when a driver uses a vehicle for commercial purposes.
It's usually the business owner's job to insure their employee drivers and the fleet of vehicles. There are often various ways to do so. A couple of the most common scenarios are:
- If employees will use vehicles owned by the company, you usually need to list them on the company's commercial auto policy. That way, you can do more to guarantee that the driver will have the proper insurance and protection.
- Some company drivers use their personal vehicles for the needs of the business. But, if they have personal insurance on the car, it might void when the employee drives for business. So, the business likely needs to ensure the employee receives commercial insurance. Sometimes, the business provides this protection for the employee. In other cases, the employee buys their own coverage.
Should an accident happen involving an employee driver, the business should immediately review the commercial auto policy that driver carries. See how it will provide coverage for the incident.
Vet New Drivers
Always remember that your company drivers will pose direct risks to the business. Therefore, you should not let anyone drive who poses exceptional driving risks. This requires a fair degree of scrutiny and vetting to ensure safety.
When hiring, make sure drivers have qualifications to operate the vehicle in question. Check the driver's previous vehicle record for any signs of previous driving trouble. Certain infractions might disqualify certain drivers from operating a company vehicle.
Require Training and Licensing as Needed
Sometimes, drivers will need special training to drive company vehicles. For example, if a driver will operate a large truck, they likely need more expertise than a standard car operator. Ensure a driver has all qualifications to drive before they get behind the wheel. If drivers need special licensing or driving endorsements, make sure they provide verification of those qualifications before you give them their privileges.
Track Drivers as Needed
Many companies have found ways to track their commercial drivers. In fact, some, by law, must carefully control how, when and for how long their drivers operate. By enforcing tracking, they can go a long way towards promoting responsible driving. They can also better ensure the driver's own safety.
Require drivers to report their progress as needed. If your drivers must take required breaks, by law, make sure you have a way to verify they follow the rules. Some businesses even install GPS trackers and speed monitors on their vehicles. This can help them monitor drivers to ensure they do not break the law. These devices can help the business ensure their drivers don't take risks.
Do Not Tolerate Infractions
All drivers can make mistakes. Commercial drivers are no different. However, companies should have a good handle on how much risk their drivers pose. Dangerous drivers often signal unnecessary risks for a business.
Frequently monitor your drivers' actions. If they receive charges, tickets or experience accidents, investigate why the problem occurred. Sometimes, these accidents might be grounds to deny someone their driving privileges. Doing so will often keep the company and the driver in safer positions. Don't forget to periodically review the driver's personal driving record, if needed. Changes on the record might be red flags indicating that someone shouldn't operate a commercial vehicle.
Your commercial drivers will provide a lot of services to your business. Still, they will also present dangers to the business. Therefore, use commercial auto insurance to protect these drivers. Also make sure your drivers remain committed to safe driving. By doing so, you can go a long way towards enforcing safety.
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