If you are a business owner, you have a lot of responsibility in making sure your business runs smoothly, but what if you fail to hire safe drivers for your commercial fleet? Whether drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, texting while driving, or driving distracted, accidents happen all the time. So, before you hire any drivers to operate your commercial vehicles, you need to exercise control over the hiring process to ensure you are hiring safe drivers for your commercial business.
Imagine running a business and failing to thoroughly research the driving applicants because you are pushed for time. Because you needed to hire someone immediately to transport goods that customers are expecting, you hired a driver without key considerations to indicate whether he/she was a safe driver. Later, that driver was found guilty of reckless driving and driving under the influence, which resulted in a catastrophic accident. Now you and your business are faced with exorbitant costs such as legal fees, personal injury judgements, damaged goods, property damage, increased insurance rates, and perhaps a tarnished business reputation. Can you afford this type of situation?
Some Key Tips for Hiring Safe Drivers
The age of the Applicant- If your applicant is under 25 years old, you need to think again. Statistics show that drivers under the age of 25 are more likely to cause accidents than those with more experience. If your trucks weigh over 10,000 pounds, consider the extent of the damages that can result from an accident. Do you feel comfortable letting a young, inexperienced driver operate your 10,000-pound truck? If you are, your insurer may not be. You will find that most insurance companies are reluctant or simply won’t insure someone that age to be a driver on a commercial auto policy.
MVR (motor vehicle record)- Before hiring anybody, obtain his/her motor vehicle record. This will show the number of accidents, motor vehicle violations/charges, and driving record history. If you find that applicant has been involved in multiple accidents in the last few years, it should send a red flag that having past accidents predict the likelihood of accidents happening down the road. Watch out!
Background Check- Before you hire someone to operate your fleet, it is recommended you obtain a background check to indicate any criminal history along with previous employers.
Safety Records from Previous Employers- If you find that the applicant got fired from another employer for poor driving history, you need to keep looking. If someone has a history of at-fault accidents and reckless driving, you should not allow them to operate a $100,000 piece of equipment.
Results of Written and Road Tests- Before hiring any drivers, have them take both written and road tests to ensure they are aware of safe driving practices and procedural rules and regulations of the road.
Keep in mind that when one of your driver(s) gets behind the wheel of your company vehicle, they represent YOUR business. For example, if one of your drivers is driving erratically, speeding, following too close or distracted driving, it reflects poorly on you and your business reputation. Anyone seeing this display of behavior from a driver will think twice before using your services, not to mention your insurer. They may choose to drop your coverage entirely. Doing the homework puts you in the driver seat in finding those drivers who will operate your fleet in a safe, professional, and regulated manner.
We are Here for All Your Commercial Auto Insurance Needs
When you utilize commercial drivers, even on a part-time basis, safety must be checked closely. Following procedural rules and regulations not only minimizes accidents on the road, but may optimize your business and reputation, while keeping your insurance rates down. If you have any further questions concerning hiring safe drivers for your Alabama business, call our offices at Burkett & Associates today.