Distracted driving is a serious safety hazard that contributes to a significant number of accidents on the road. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that more than 2,800 people are killed and 400,000 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver each year—equating to approximately eight deaths and 1,095 injuries per day. Considering these findings, it’s crucial to take steps to prevent distracted driving.
One of the best things you can do to control your automobile risk is to implement risk management techniques for controlling the frequency of accidents. Improving your drivers’ performance can make a big difference. A study by the U.S. Department of Transportation revealed that 90 percent of all collisions were due to driver action, attitude, and behavior. Making your drivers safer and purchasing dependable vehicles can affect both the frequency and severity of accidents. Some steps to take include the following:
- Ensure adequate hiring practices. Make sure to hire experienced and qualified drivers. Specifically, drivers should be able to provide proof of proper licensing and a clean driving record. After all, the ATRI found that in 100% of nuclear verdicts reported during 2020 in which a driver’s history was used as evidence against a business, the business lost the case.
- Prioritize retention. In addition to hiring adequate drivers, it’s critical to retain these employees. According to recent research from Idelic, drivers are 40% less likely to get involved in a crash during their second year with a business when compared to their first year—showcasing just how valuable employee retention is. Possible driver retention tactics may include increasing drivers’ salaries, allowing extra paid time off, or offering well-being stipends.
- Establish a culture of safety. It’s also vital to communicate the importance of road safety and accident prevention to drivers. This can be accomplished by offering routine driver safety training, scheduling regular safety meetings, providing ample road safety resources, and giving rewards to drivers who demonstrate safe behaviors behind the wheel (e.g., a monetary bonus).
- Utilize technology. A range of vehicle technology can be used to monitor road conditions, assess drivers’ behaviors and prevent accidents. In other words, this technology can collect important data and offer additional insight on how to maintain safe driving operations. Examples of such technology include telematics devices, vehicle cameras, communication systems, and advanced navigation programs.
- Maintain compliance. To prevent litigation and associated claims due to driver or vehicle violations, it’s best to reach out to proper legal counsel to assess compliance requirements—particularly as it relates to Department of Transportation and FMSCA standards. Any applicable requirements should be reflected within workplace policies and procedures.
- Consult an insurance professional. Finally, be sure to regularly communicate with a trusted insurance professional regarding proper risk management tactics and coverage solutions. This professional should also be able to determine whether any policy adjustments are necessary and may discover opportunities for premium discounts.
Whether your business leases a single passenger car or owns an entire fleet of commercial vehicles, auto liabilities must be monitored. For more information about managing automobile risk, read our Reducing Auto Claims for Your Business article.