It’s no secret that company-owned vehicles can greatly benefit employees. Not only do they provide transportation for work-related purposes, but they can also be used for personal errands during the day. But sometimes, the convenience of having a company-owned vehicle can outweigh the safety concerns that come along with it.
In 2019, a shocking 24% of all work-related deaths were drivers or passengers in motor vehicles on public roads. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that these crashes are the leading cause of occupational hazards faced by Americans today!
That’s why companies need to have policies in place regarding employee vehicle use. By doing so, they can help ensure the safety of their employees and avoid any potential liability issues. Here are four policies your company should have:
Driver’s check policy
You should require all employees who drive company-owned vehicles to pass a driver’s check before allowing them to drive a company-owned car. This will help you identify any red flags that may indicate the employee is not a safe driver.
Suppose an employee has a history of accidents or traffic violations. In that case, they may not be someone you want driving your company car.
You can use this policy to screen for any red flags, such as a history of reckless driving or DUI convictions. Employees who do not pass the driver’s check should not be allowed to drive a company-owned vehicle. You can obtain a driver’s history report from the DMV or order one online.
DWI cases usually happen when someone has had too much to drink, and their body can’t process the alcohol fast enough. If an employee is caught driving under drugs or alcohol, they should be subject to disciplinary action. This could include a suspension from work or even termination.
The more significant impact would be when your employee was caught by authorities and arrested, leading to a civil lawsuit against your company. To avoid any potential liability, it is best to hire a DWI lawyer to help your company create policies to prevent these from happening.
They can also represent your company if an employee does get charged with a DWI. A DWI lawyer would fight to safeguard your workers’ rights and try to get lesser, later, or alternative penalties. This kind of incident should be avoided, so it’s important to have a policy outlining the consequences of this behavior.
Policies for maintenance and inspections
This policy should outline the expectations for employees when it comes to maintaining the company vehicle. This can include cleaning the car, filling the gas tank, and getting routine maintenance done promptly. Monthly inspections should also be conducted to ensure the vehicle is in good working condition.
Employees should also be aware of the company’s policy on reporting any accidents or damage to the vehicle. By having this policy in place, you can help to avoid any potential liability issues if an employee is involved in an accident while driving a company-owned vehicle.
You can give incentives to those who follow the policy by :
- Offering discounts on gas
- Giving gift cards for getting routine maintenance done
- Providing a bonus at the end of the year for those who have had no accidents or violations
Random drug and alcohol testing
This policy can help to identify employees who may be struggling with substance abuse issues. By implementing random drug and alcohol testing, you can catch these issues early on and get your employees the help they need before it becomes a bigger problem.
Some companies choose to test all employees for drugs and alcohol regularly. In contrast, others only test employees who are suspected of using. Either way, it’s essential to have a policy that outlines how these tests will be conducted and the consequences for employees who fail them. You can let them undergo a drug and alcohol test by sending the employees to a drug testing facility or having a mobile drug testing unit come to your workplace.
Restrictions on personal use
Employees should only be allowed to use company-owned vehicles for business purposes. Personal use of these vehicles should be strictly prohibited. Some employees may try to skirt this rule by using the company car for personal errands or even going on vacation.
You can set rules to avoid this, like tracking the car’s mileage or GPS or even installing a camera in the car. Also, you may include log sheets for employees to fill out whenever they use the company car.
Requiring employees to take a defensive driving course
As a final measure to help keep your employees safe while driving company-owned vehicles, you can require them to take a defensive driving course. This will teach them how to avoid accidents and what to do if they find themselves in a dangerous situation.
You can find these courses online or through your local community college. Employees should be required to complete the course within a specific time frame, and you can offer a discount on the course as an incentive. Defensive driving courses are a great way to help reduce the risk of accidents and keep your employees safe while on the job.
To sum up
Making it clear that these are just a few of the many policies your company should have in place regarding employee vehicle use. By doing so, you can help ensure all employees’ safety and avoid any potential liability issues. Contacting a lawyer could help create necessary precautions or answer legal inquiries, specifically around auto accidents on work property.