three yellow semi truck fleet

Fleet Safety Programs Protect Your Vehicles and Drivers

A fleet safety program establishes the policies and procedures needed to ensure safe deployment of your district’s vehicles.

These programs don’t guarantee accidents won’t happen. But they can provide protection against liability from vehicle accidents and prepare for unforeseen events.

For example, let’s say an employee got into an accident in a district-owned auto while running a personal errand. Without the right kind of written agreements, there wouldn’t be any coverage for that accident. Fleet safety programs can help you make sure you’re covered under any event.

A good place to begin is by identifying your drivers. Identify everyone who drives on behalf of your district, especially those that use personal or rented vehicles. Your district is liable for anything that happens involving those vehicles while on district business. It can be easy to overlook.

From there, you will want to screen, select, train, and manage your drivers carefully. You will also need a plan to manage accidents when they occur, establish written policies and procedures, and formalize vehicle inspection and maintenance.

Motor Vehicle Reports

One of the most effective tools available to screen and manage drivers is the motor vehicle report (MVR). An MVR, or certified driving history, is used to verify the official status and activity associated with a driver’s license. They are commonly run for employers, insurance companies, courts, schools, and any entity that requires an official record.

The document is stamped and signed by a DDS (Department of Driver Services) official, ensuring its results are accurate.

Information on this report may include driver’s license information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status. These reports are important for employers to use because they show how safe and responsible a potential or current driver has been behind the wheel.

A review of the MVR will tell employers whether applicants have been involved in speeding, careless or reckless driving, or operating vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This information can be critical when hiring or assessing whether any of your current staff needs training, or whether someone should be taken off of driving duty until a serious driving issue is resolved.

We recommend running quarterly MVRs as a best practice. This allows for management to screen their drivers and determine their suitability as a district driver. An MVR can only be requested under the pretense that an employee will be driving as a condition of employment.

Daily Vehicle Inspections

Vehicle inspections are another important part of operations. According to the Department of Transportation, every commercial motor vehicle must be inspected every 12 months by a qualified inspector who has the training or certification to inspect and maintain commercial motor vehicles.

Before a driver starts driving any vehicle your district owns, your employees should conduct a daily inspection. By implementing daily inspections, you are able to keep up on the general maintenance and report any potential vehicle issues immediately. By completing daily inspections, you can keep a closer eye on when each of your vehicles may need to go in for repairs.

Driver Training, Programs, and Services

When hiring new drivers, it is a good practice to have them undergo a new driver training assessment. Fortunately, we have partnered with TargetSolutions to offer members a new driver training assessment program to get their employees the training they need right from a computer.

Additionally, the CSD Pool has launched a new driver training program in partnership with First Gear Skid School. Get behind the wheel of the state’s only SKIDTRUCK, a vehicle outfitted to simulate loss-of-control driving in conditions such as snow, ice, or wet roads. With this program, now available to members, you will receive in-class instruction as well as behind-the-wheel training.

We also have a few other programs and services available to members that can aid with fleet management. These include Check It, a fleet and apparatus management software created by TargetSolutions, and Vector EHS, a mobile app that allows safety professionals to record, track, and analyze a variety of safety incidents and inspections.

With these programs, you’re able to track near misses and vehicle incidents, as well as employee and contractor injuries. Using safety and loss prevention dollars will help make dash cams and wireless back up cameras affordable. Vehicle backing accidents are one of the Pool’s top causes of loss, and they are preventable.

For more information on these programs, you can reach out to us at info@csdpool.org.

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