Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Steps to Workplace Driving Safety - part 2

In previous posts about Workplace Driving Safety we introduced a 10-step plan for a workplace driving safety program. In this post we will elaborate on the last 5 steps of the plan.

Step 6: Vehicle Selection, Maintenance and Inspection

Selecting, properly maintaining and routinely inspecting company vehicles is an important part of preventing crashes and related losses.

It is advisable that the organization review and consider the safety features of all vehicles to be considered for use. Those vehicles that demonstrate “best in class” status for crash-worthiness and overall safety should be chosen and made available to drivers.

For the latest information on crash test ratings and other important vehicle safety information, visit www.safercar.gov. To report a concern about a defect or problem with your vehicle, contact the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline at: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT.

Vehicles should be on a routine preventive maintenance schedule for servicing and checking of safety-related equipment. Regular maintenance should be done at specific mileage intervals consistent with the manufacturer's recommendations. A mechanic should do a thorough inspection of each vehicle at least annually with documented results placed in the vehicle's file.

Personal vehicles used for company business are not necessarily subject to the same criteria and are generally the responsibility of the owner. However, personal vehicles used on company business should be maintained in a manner that provides the employee with maximum safety and reflects positively on the company.

Step 7: Disciplinary Action System
Develop a strategy to determine the course of action after the occurrence of a moving violation and/or “preventable” crash. There are a variety of corrective action programs available; the majority of these are based on a system that assigns points for moving violations. The system should provide for progressive discipline if a driver begins to develop a pattern of repeated traffic violations and/or preventable crashes. The system should describe what specific action(s) will be taken if a driver accumulates a certain number of violations or preventable crashes in any predefined period.

Step 8: Reward/Incentive Program
Develop and implement a driver reward/incentive program to make safe driving an integral part of your business culture. Safe driving behaviors contribute directly to the bottom line and should be recognized as such. Positive results are realized when driving performance is incorporated into the overall evaluation of job performance. Reward and incentive programs typically involve recognition, monetary rewards, special privileges or the use of incentives to motivate the achievement of a predetermined goal or to increase participation in a program or event.

Step 9: Driver Training/Communication
Provide continuous driver safety training and communication. Even experienced drivers benefit from periodic training and reminders of safe driving practices and skills. It is easy to become complacent and not think about the consequences of our driving habits.

Step 10: Regulatory Compliance
Ensure adherence to highway safety regulations. It is important to clearly establish which, if any, local, state, and/or federal regulations govern your vehicles and/or drivers. These regulations may involve, but may not necessarily be limited to the:
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)
  • National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Employment Standards Administration (ESA)
The last post in this series on driving safety will be about cell phone use while driving.

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