Okay, so it may have seemed like a stupid question. Of course you want to keep your drivers safe, right? Whether you’re running a taxi business or a truck fleet, you need to put employee safety first. Here are some of the things you can do to increase safety.
Thorough background checks
I’m not exactly an advocate of judging someone too harshly on their past behavior. But if you’re going to trust someone behind the wheel of one of your vehicles, you need to be really sure you can trust them! That means creating tough criteria when it comes to background checks. Use Motor Vehicle Records to pull the documents you need. If they have a history of accidents, law violations, or DUI, you may want to think twice.
Can additional training ever hurt? Sure, some might see it as an unnecessary expense. Especially if the driver you just hired already has the required credentials and experience. But why not spend a couple of days making sure you can run through some more advanced stuff with them? If there’s anything your business does that is unique to your business, then you have to make sure the correct training is given.
Some people see tracking systems as a sign that employees don’t trust them. But this simply isn’t (always!) the case. If you’ve got the right fleet tracking management hardware and software, it also comes with several safety benefits. The data from the vehicle and the employee will be sent to the location you’ve selected as regularly as you need it to be. If something happens, you will know about it immediately and be ready to take action.
This may sound a little bizarre to some people. After all, isn’t safety in and of itself the greatest incentive of all? Still, it’s undeniable that sometimes your drivers may be tempted to bend the rules a little. They may speed a little, or they may make an illegal turn somewhere. This kind of behavior is dangerous, of course, and should be discouraged. But if they get caught, they may only be fined by the police. You may not consider it a fire-able offense. But it may void them from your super-cool “10,000 miles without a traffic citation or accident” program!
The opposite of incentives
Of course, if your employee does cause an avoidable accident, then you should consider making them pay any required fees. If you don’t want to risk them paying too much, you could set a limit. Let’s say that an avoidable accident caused by your employee sees a dock in their next pay cut, with a maximum set at $500. Of course, you’ll probably want to consider it on a case-by-case basis.
Of course, there are some areas in which a driver simply has no excuse. Sure, a lot of people may bend the law a little without overtly putting others at risk. But let’s say, for example, that your driver is caught not using a seatbelt. What possible excuse could there be for not using a seatbelt? It’s vehicle safety 101. For things this basic, you should consider a zero tolerance policy. If they’re caught doing it, strongly consider firing them on the spot. If your heart isn’t hard enough for that, then fire them the second time.