Road accidents cost employers a whopping $60 billion in property damage, medical bills, legal expenses, and lost productivity every year in the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveals. Taking steps to prevent accidents across your fleet is essential to providing a safe working environment for your employees – one of your key responsibilities as an employer. In addition to keeping your employees safe and free from injury and harm, an effective accident prevention strategy can also help prevent costly maintenance and downtime that eats into your profits.
Perform regular vehicle maintenance
Regular vehicle maintenance is key to ensuring your vehicles are fit to drive – which therefore keeps your drivers safe and minimizes vehicle off road (VOR) time. Ideally, your drivers should perform a quick vehicle check themselves everyday before driving. This type of check should include the tires, steering, lights, mirrors, and fuel levels. And, you can also roll-out regular spot checks yourself to ensure your drivers are fulfilling this key maintenance responsibility. Similarly, highlight the importance of scheduled professional maintenance. Maintenance checks should also be recorded in your central fleet management system to ensure they’re happening according to schedule.
Know how to handle an accident
No matter how seriously you take accident prevention, road collisions can still happen. By being prepared to handle accidents correctly, you can best protect your drivers and minimize disruptions to your operations. Firstly, it’s important to document the accident in as much detail as possible. So, this means recording the names, contact details, and vehicle make and model of everyone involved. It’s also useful to record witness statements, and take photographic evidence of the accident, including property damage and visible skid marks. Contacting an experienced lawyer can also help you navigate the legal process and determine liability. Lawyers have in-depth knowledge on state traffic laws, and can therefore ensure no mistakes are made when filing a claim representatives of car accident attorneys in Arizona, explains.
Set a clear cell phone policy
Around 3,000 people are killed in car accidents resulting from distracted drivers every year in the United States. Specifically, cell phone usage – a major cause of distracted driving – is involved in 12% of all car accidents. By setting a clear cell phone policy, you can prevent distracted driving and minimize risk of road accidents. Although hands-free technology may appear to be a solution, it can still facilitate distracted driving, and should also therefore be avoided. Alternatively, you may want to invest in software that locks devices (and prevents calls and texts) while in motion. You’ll also have to set a policy for safely communicating with drivers while on the road – for example, they could receive an alert indicating they pull over and contact headquarters when it’s safe and convenient to do so.
Taking steps to prevent road accidents is essential to keeping your drivers safe and preventing disruption to your operations. By performing regular vehicle maintenance, knowing how to handle an accident, and setting a clear cell phone policy, you can best protect your employees, while also avoiding costly repairs and downtime.