Being able to identify risky drivers and correct their behavior as it occurs is among the reasons Continuous Driver License Monitoring is the cornerstone of fleet policy.
Fleets have many responsibilities to their drivers, customers, and the public at large, but their top priority should be operating safely.
A Continuous Driver License Monitoring program gives fleet managers the ability to spot reckless behavior before it becomes an issue. Coupled with a strong safety program, fleet managers can take immediate action to correct these driving behaviors.
Using a Continuous Driver License Monitoring program has a number of other benefits for fleets, particularly in those instances when the fleet and its company are facing a liability lawsuit. A Continuous Driver License Monitoring program can be an important element as the company prepares to defend itself.
Since a Continuous Driver License Monitoring program is preemptive rather than reactive, the program demonstrates to a plaintiff’s attorney and, more important, a jury that the fleet and its company takes safety seriously. This could be the tipping point in helping the fleet and its company prove its lack of culpability in the accident, either by completely exonerating the fleet and its driver or significantly minimizing the amount of damages.
Demonstrating that the fleet is safe and well-run will also help the company win in the court of public opinion — particularly if it is a high-profile case.
Fleet Safety Policy – Making No Exceptions
It is not enough to simply to have a fleet safety policy on the books. It is critical that that such policies are used and used consistently. Fleet driving expectations should be set in stone, and enforced — regardless of the driver’s position with or value to the company — without exception.
Making any exceptions is a slippery slope that may solve a short-term dilemma, e.g., should a top salesperson be able to continue driving for the company? In the long term a wrong decision could lead to bigger problems. For example, that top salesperson may be involved in a serious accident, because he or she didn’t have to go through remedial training or was allowed to retain driving privileges, which could wipe out any income gains for the company that year.
Make no mistake, a plaintiff’s attorney will discover if the fleet made an exception, and tear to shreds even the most carefully developed ﬂeet policy, using the exception to argue negligent entrustment of a vehicle or negligent retention of an employee driver.
Enforcing a Fleet Safety Policy
While fleet managers must uniformly and consistently enforce the fleet and safety policies of the company, they can’t do so in a vacuum.
If a Continuous Driver License Monitoring program is the cornerstone of a fleet safety program, communication is its foundation. Fleet managers, along with fleet stakeholders–including HR, legal, and risk management departments–must develop a clear set of policies that are easily communicated and understood by drivers and other employees.
Drivers must understand that the policy is designed to benefit them and their loved ones by keeping the employee safe. Drivers must also understand that there are consequences for not following the rules related to using a company vehicle: from being moved to a non-driving position up to termination.
Making a Continuous Driver License Monitoring program the cornerstone of a fleet’s safety policy is one of the ways such a program will remain successful for the long term. No matter how a fleet approaches its fleet safety program, it should always be with the understanding that it is now the way operations will be handled — there is no such thing as a one-and-done safety program: it takes vigilance and hard work. The benefits will be felt far beyond the bottom line.
To learn more about why a continuous MVR program is the cornerstone of an effective fleet safety program, download the white paper “Corporate Inertia: Overcoming Hurdles to Continuous Driver License Monitoring” here.