Companies who use commercial vehicles in their business must not only have adequate insurance to cover potential accidents, but they should also have a safety program that (a) addresses driver behavior and prevents accidents in every way possible, and (b) provides documentation of training and safety measures taken in order to defend the company if an accident does occur.
All drivers should undergo a careful selection process before being hired for the job. Motor vehicle record checks and background checks should determine any violations, convictions or disqualifications, as well as physical limitations which could affect their driving ability.
Once hired, it’s essential that commercial drivers undergo strict training regarding behavior while behind the wheel. Drivers who are distracted, fatigued, impaired or speeding are significantly more likely to be involved in collisions. Therefore, any use of alcohol or other controlled substances must be prohibited, any passengers must be authorized by the company, traffic laws must be strictly adhered to, and vehicles should not be used for personal use.
The company may also be responsible for contributing to motor vehicle accidents because of its policies or decisions. Organizations may set unrealistic deadlines for delivery of goods, leading to drivers speeding in order to meet expectations, or they may disregard the added time necessary when there is inclement weather, an oversized load or dangerous cargo, heavy traffic, or other potential delays. Companies should therefore regularly review both their own procedures and the records of their drivers in order to ensure the safe operation of their commercial vehicles.
See Liberty Mutual’s Focus on Safety August 2014 newsletter for more information, and call Alliance Insurance today for a Commercial Vehicle Liability quote to make sure your vehicles and drivers are covered.
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