If your company owns vehicles, you might need to hire dedicated employees to drive them. Employee drivers will likely play critical roles in your operations. However, they'll also pose risks behind the wheel. That could add burdens to your commercial auto insurance. Thus, you only should use the best-trained, most trustworthy drivers. What are some of the ways you can ensure your employees meet your needs?
Vetting commercial drivers often helps you cut the risks they pose to your company. By observing the following steps, you'll likely put yourself in position to manage driver security.
1. Check Their Licensing
You only want to hire employee drivers who have the qualifications to drive. Therefore, make sure they have a full, active license that does not have any suspensions. Make sure the license doesn't contain significant operating restrictions either.
Remember, some vehicles might require drivers to have special licensing to operate them. Only allow drivers with these qualifications to drive these vehicles.
2. Examine Their Driving History
A driving history review might be even more critical than a license examination. Pull your candidate's driving record for at least the last three years.
If you spot that the driver has a lot of infractions on their record, it might signal that they don't drive safely. Therefore, they could pose a risk behind the wheel of your company vehicle. This might eventually drive your commercial auto insurance rates up — especially if you have to make a claim because of a driver's mistakes.
3. Ensure They Can Use The Vehicle
Some vehicles operate differently than the standard car. For example, conversion vans often need more space to turn, stop and park. Thus, someone who can't successfully operate these vehicles might have a higher risk of accidents.
4. Give Them A Probationary Period
Even once you hire a driver, they are not off the hook. Just because someone looks good on paper doesn't mean they'll be the best fit for driving your fleet's vehicles. If your local employment laws allow, give the driver a 90-day probationary operating period. During this time, scrutinize their capabilities and look for potential safety risks. You might even be able to do a ride-along with them.
5. Keep An Eye On Them
Even after you clear an employee to drive, continue to monitor their operations. At times, you can add safety enhancements to vehicles to help keep drivers on the right path. These might include such items as speed monitors, onboard cameras and GPS tracking systems.
Each safety step you take could reduce the risks of accidents and insurance claims. You might even qualify for discounts on your policy. So, contact your Dean Heckle & Hill agent to see if they recommend any best practices for your drivers.