When your business uses vehicles as a part of company operations or even for running daily errands, there are occupational safety issues related to car accidents. Such mishaps can create serious legal hassles for your business if employees or anyone else gets injured, though they are preventable. It is all about taking the right approach towards company vehicle safety, which several organizations fail to do. Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to reinforce vehicle safety and prevent trouble in the first place. Also, you need to understand that a commitment to safety should be your top priority because it matters the most.
Business liability for employee negligence
When your employees operate fleet vehicles or drive on official duty such as sales calls, there is always a risk for your business. Accidents may happen anytime and your driver’s negligence can be the cause. Regardless of their negligence, the responsibility of the mishap will fall on your business under the vicarious liability concept. If a third-party victim files a claim for their injuries, your company will have to compensate them at any cost. So it makes sense to go the extra mile with safe driving protocols and vehicle maintenance if you operate cars for business. Spending some time and money on safety is a better alternative to facing lawsuits that involve heavy financial expenses and reputational damage.
Ensuring protection with driver training
Proper training and awareness for the employees driving business vehicles are extremely important when it comes to preventing accidents and protecting your company from lawsuits. Have a vehicle safety procedure and road safety policy in place and communicate them to the employee. Also, educate them to get help after a car wreck rather than flee from the spot because hit-and-run can land you in deeper trouble. Convey zero-tolerance for unsafe behaviors such as DUI and distracted driving. Keeping track of driver performance and providing periodic training is also important. Gather empirical data from the employees to understand the kind of driving conditions and the challenges they face in routine. Devise and implement a plan for dealing with them.
Pay attention to vehicle condition
Apart from driver negligence, accidents can also happen due to mechanical faults and lack of maintenance of company vehicles. It is, therefore, vital to keep a close check on the condition of every single vehicle in your fleet. Ensure that you adhere to regular maintenance schedules and replace aged vehicles at the right time. Apart from proactive maintenance scheduling, pay attention to preventive checks and on-demand repairs when a car gets into trouble. Encourage drivers to inform about the smallest issues with the vehicles so that you can handle them before something worse happens.
It is clear that vehicle safety is your responsibility rather than that of the employees, as long as they are driving on duty. Overlooking it can have expensive implications, both financial and legal, which is the last thing you would want to happen. Having an action plan to prevent mishaps, along with general liability coverage for your business are the smartest things to do.