It is sobering fact that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for American workers. Unfortunately, it is likely any business with employee drivers—like pest control operators—will experience an employee auto accident at some point. But not all businesses will experience frequent, severe accidents. Why?
Those businesses likely follow a strategy that will sound surprisingly old-fashioned in this era of GPS and telematics: they have company policies, procedures and management practices that reinforce safe driving. In particular, they hire responsible drivers.
How do you ensure you only have safe drivers behind the wheel? Here are a few best practices for recruiting employees with driving responsibilities:
• Check past performance. As the saying goes, it is your best indication of future behavior. Check every job candidate’s motor vehicle record (MVR) for warning signs, such as speeding tickets or DUIs over the past seven years.
• Ensure drivers are fit for the position. Consider the applicant’s skill, experience and physical condition. These parameters may vary depending on the type of vehicles a company uses and other specifics, but consider a candidate’s past experience with relevant vehicles, defensive driving training and his or her physical health.
• Test their skills. Take new hires on a road test to evaluate key safe driving behaviors: seatbelt use, coming to a complete stop, maintaining an appropriate, consistent speed, etc.
When considering the outcomes of these reviews, managers must then ask themselves a tough question: Do I trust these individuals to drive a car with our company’s name on the side of it? On the road, employees represent either the best or the worst of what your company has to offer. Make sure you’re putting your best foot on the gas pedal.
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