A company vehicle driven by the owner or an employee puts the company at potential liability risk should an accident occur. Employers are responsible for exercising reasonable care to ensure that conditions are met to minimize the potential of accidents. Businesses are often seen as having "deep pockets." When litigation results from an accident that is the fault of a company driver, employers should have policies in place to minimize potential liability.
Here are a few ideas to protect your company. Perform motor vehicle record checks on every employee before hiring them and continue to do so routinely during their time of employment. Remember, an employee may lose their license and continue to drive without reporting it to their employer. Company vehicles should be properly maintained and regularly inspected and complete maintenance and repair records kept.
Most auto accidents are the result of driver inattention, disregard for signs and signals or a failure to yield the right of way. Provide drivers with a check list of steps to take if an accident occurs. Make certain that accidents are reported accurately and promptly. Insurance coverage can be jeopardized if an accident report is delinquent. Insurance companies provide booklets, posters and other literature to help educate and remind drivers of safe driving practices.
Be careful establishing company safety policies that have penalties or create employee fear of losing their jobs. This attitude may discourage an employee from being honest or may even keep them from reporting an accident. Accidents and vehicle damage claims should be handled by trained professionals. Your insurance agent is one and most agents will gladly help establish safety policies for a company if they are asked.
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