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This program applies to all drivers who operate vehicles on company business. The program administrator is responsible for the program’s implementation, management and recordkeeping.
- Assume responsibility for employee driving records while they are on duty.
- Check for policy compliance that all personnel are required to adhere to.
- Verify that drivers who use personal vehicles for company business maintain insurance.
- Review decisions on crashes, near misses, and incidents. Take steps to prevent a recurrence, such as scheduling driver retraining and coaching and implementing progressive disciplinary measures for drivers unwilling to change unsafe behavior.
- Establish disciplinary actions to take against employees who show a disregard for good driving practices.
- Insist that assigned vehicles are properly maintained for safe operation.
- Establish vehicle inspections for safety discrepancies, malfunctions, signs of abuse, unreported damage, and cleanliness. Repair as soon as possible.
- Support the driver training program to promote defensive driving.
- Enforce seatbelt and distracted driving policies.
- Review and revise the motor vehicle safety program yearly.
- Develop and apply a scorecard for measuring safety performance for hazards of both driving and non-driving tasks.
- Develop and conduct performance evaluations and monitor the evaluations for quality and follow-through on established goals.
- Train and retrain employees in motor vehicle safety, both driving and non-driving hazards.
- Work with drivers when incidents that affect safety happen.
- Develop procedures to follow for stoppages due to fatigue, driver health, equipment failure, crashes, weather, or other concerns.
- Stop operations if equipment has defects or needs maintenance, or other safety issues develop.
- Assist with employee screening, monitoring and data analysis, recordkeeping, equipment and parts procurement, budgeting, and requirements to service program success.
Employees who drive are responsible for following all safety policies, rules, and procedures in the motor vehicle safety program, including:
- Complying with federal and state Department of Transportation (DOT) physical requirements by maintaining a current physical when operating a commercial vehicle.
- Understanding and following the policies, rules, and regulations of safe motor vehicle operation.
- Completing training to operate specific assigned motor vehicles.
- Working with supervisors to maintain driver training/certification.
- Attending new-hire safety orientation, regular safety training, coaching, and retesting to meet recertification and/or license maintenance requirements.
- Requiring employees to be alert and able to operate or work around motor vehicles. Reporting to supervisors when illness, medications, or other health conditions could affect safety.
- Never driving fatigued and immediately stopping when symptoms of fatigue develop.
- Understanding and following procedures about motor vehicle crash and incident reporting.
- Being proactive in supporting supervisors and fellow employees in vehicle safety.
- Contributing to safety performance by completing safety activities detailed in the scorecard.
Vehicle Operator Responsibilities
Drivers are responsible for doing pre-trip, en-route, and post-trip vehicle inspections, including gas, oil, fluid levels, lights, tires, and brakes. Supervisors will provide checklists for at least the pre- and post-trip inspections. If something is wrong with the vehicle that affects safety, repairs will be made before use.
Vehicle abuse: No one will use a vehicle for any purpose other than what it was designed to do, operate it beyond its limits, or operate it in areas it wasn't designed for. No one will damage the vehicle through neglect, misuse, or improper driving techniques and handling.
Transporting employees in vehicles: No more than [enter number here] employees will ride in the front seat or cab. Each position will be equipped with a seatbelt and each person will use a seatbelt. No employee will ride or work from the bed or rear of a vehicle while in motion.
Traffic laws: Employees will adhere to traffic laws and regulations when operating vehicles. Employees will operate vehicles to avoid injuries to people or damage to property at all times.
Unauthorized vehicle use: Company vehicles are to be used for business purposes only. People found using company vehicles for personal errands without permission may be subject to disciplinary action.
Company vehicle operation/occupancy by unauthorized people: Employees will not permit unauthorized employees or non-employees to ride in company vehicles, except when those people are conveyed in the performance of duty or authorized to ride by supervisory staff.
Parking: Employees will park their vehicles legally. Employees will remove the keys and lock the vehicle, except when instructed otherwise. Employees will not park on the wrong side of a street or highway, unless it is mandatory to perform a job. All signs, cones, lights, and warning devices as required by law will be used when vehicles are parked or in use in a public travel lane. Employees will use safety brakes, lockout devices, and other parking safety methods when parking equipment.
Personal vehicle use for business: Supervisors will identify and authorize employees who are required as part of their job duties to use their personal vehicles to conduct business. An employee’s own insurance policy is the primary coverage and, therefore, the company will not be responsible for any claims that arise out of a motor vehicle crash that the employee is involved in while operating their personal vehicle. Mileage reimbursement the employee receives is intended to cover costs of the operation of personal vehicle, including fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, etc.
Transporting equipment: Do not store equipment/materials in the passenger area as they could become flying projectiles in a crash, hard brake event, or sudden stop. Briefcases, laptops, phones, radios, lunchboxes, tools, etc. need to be secured or placed in the vehicle’s storage compartments. Headache racks must be provided for any truck, step van, or similar vehicle used for storing or transporting tools, freight, etc. Keep the driver/passenger area free from objects that could cause distraction or unexpectedly move.
Driver skills, experience, and attitude are key factors in the selection process. Establish qualification standards for new and existing employees who have driving duties. To enforce these standards, the company has implemented the following driver qualification procedures:
Driver Age Requirements
All drivers must be a minimum of [enter number here] years of age.
Driver applicants shall complete an employment application with the required information needed if driving is required. Hiring standards also require that driver applicants list all former employers for the past [enter number of years here] years. Any gaps in employment for more than a [however long] period must be accounted for on the application.
Obtain a legible copy of each driver applicant's license. Review the license for validity, expiration, and appropriateness for the class of vehicles that they'd be driving. Whenever driving vehicles, employees must have a valid driver's license in their possession. Employees will notify their supervisor if their license is suspended, revoked, or expired.
Employees who drive vehicles that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) will comply with the federal and state DOT driver’s licensing requirements. CDL-required positions require a DOT physical. The company will direct the necessary employees to a medical clinic for a physical. An additional physical aside from the DOT physical may be required. This physical evaluates an employee's ability to perform job functions of the job. The company will arrange for the employee to complete the physical.
Supervisors will maintain a system that ensures employees operating vehicles have the proper class of license with proper endorsements. They will regularly check licenses for statuses and any other issues.
Motor Vehicle Report Check and Evaluation
Obtain a motor vehicle report (MVR) for those being considered for employment where driving vehicles is required. The administrator will review all MVR information to determine if the applicant meets the qualification standards regarding driving records. A formal review of the driver’s MVR will be conducted least annually to ensure that existing drivers meet the qualification standards.
Note: MVRs are confidential and should only be discussed with the driver or other persons authorized to know. The administrator will receive results of the MVR check and will apply any needed corrective action.
Driver Qualification Standards
Ensure that new and existing drivers meet federal, state, and insurer qualification standards for MVRs in the commercial vehicle safety program, and policies have been instituted regarding:
- Actions taken on number of points and violations shown from the MVR checks and evaluations.
- Standards and penalties for drivers involved in preventable crashes or near misses. Establish a point structure for non-CDL positions and follow the CSA’s system to evaluate potential new and current driver motor vehicle records.
If a driver meets or exceeds [number of points] points within the previous [number of years] or exceeds [number of points] points within the previous [number of months/years], they will be ineligible to drive a company vehicle. If the MVR reveals [enter violation or number of points here], then the following corrective action will be taken:
- [Enter answer here.]
A new or existing driver will not be allowed to drive a company vehicle or other vehicle on business if their MVR reveals:
- [Enter violations here.]
Each employee involved in a preventable or at-fault vehicular crash or near miss, whether it involves the public or not, will be required to:
- [Enter answer here.]
An employee who receives any moving violation must notify their supervisor of the incident within [number of days] days. Any corrective action will be evaluated based on the type and severity of the incident.
[You may need to further edit this section for CDL drivers based on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's system.]
Previous Employment Investigation
Contact an applicant's former and current employers for the previous [enter number here] years to verify as much of the following information as possible:
- Dates of employment and type of work performed
- Type of vehicle(s) operated and extent of driving experience
- Vehicle crash or near-miss record
- Overall work history and performance
The information from former and current employers should be in writing and retained in the driver's qualification file. If a former or current employer refuses to release information, note this in the file. The program administrator will review former and current employer information to determine if the driver meets appropriate standards.
Driver applicants who require a CDL license for their driving position will need to successfully complete a road test exam prior to an offer of employment.
Note: The road test exam shall be performed in the type of vehicle the driver will operate. Performance will be monitored during the selection process as well as at intervals throughout the driver’s career using information obtained from motor vehicle records and file data.
Driver Qualification File
The driver selection process includes developing a driver qualification file. The file can include:
- Employment application, interview notes, and MVR checks
- Driver evaluation, performance reviews, and driver training information
- Make sure you’ve included all the requirements of this file for all CDL drivers (click here to learn more)
Driver Training and Reviews
To keep drivers and supervisors well trained and informed, institute policies to ensure proper driver training, including driver orientation, periodic driver meetings, and driver performance evaluation and reviews.
The orientation program consists of comprehensive classroom training that covers several subjects, including driving policies and procedures, regulatory compliance, vehicle maintenance and inspections, crash or near-miss report procedures, and defensive driving procedures.
After completing the classroom portion, new drivers will be assigned to a trainer to evaluate the new employee's driving skills and techniques and to apply what was learned in the classroom portion. Familiarize the new driver with paperwork procedures for vehicle maintenance, inspections, non-driving hazards, and safety measures for the type, configuration, and use of the vehicle assigned to the driver. Answer any questions or concerns not addressed in the classroom training.
Every [time interval], supervisors will conduct a drivers meeting. These meetings are to share news and information and to give a forum to discuss issues, questions, or concerns. Drivers are expected to participate in these meetings, and all input is welcomed and appreciated.
Driver Evaluation and Performance Reviews
Supervisors conduct a performance review with each of their drivers every [enter number] months. Drivers must understand that their performance will be evaluated on an ongoing basis and their supervisor may recommend a review at any time. Apply a balanced scorecard to measure and reward safety performance. Give a copy during safety orientation and during each performance evaluation.
On-Road Performance Evaluation
The on-road evaluation is to monitor driver performance by riding with or following them. Document results and counsel drivers about any problems observed. This is a good way for the supervisor to ensure that the driver is following vehicle inspection and defensive driving procedures.
Performance reviews are held in private and should cover:
- The driver's actual results against established goals and standards of the company.
- Recognition of the driver's contributions and accomplishments.
- Correction of any new or existing performance problems.
- Establishment of goals or standards for the next review period.
- Review of driver’s MVR.
Once the driver and supervisor have concluded their discussion of past performance and addressed any development, training, or corrective action needs, they are expected to reach mutual agreement and wrap up the review. The wrap-up should include:
- A positive summary of the performance review, including agreed upon plans and goals.
- Opportunity for the driver to react, asks questions, and give suggestions.
- Expression of appreciation for the driver's participation, time, and efforts.
- A written record of what was discussed, agreed upon, and any corrective action/training plans.
- Both the driver and supervisor will sign the evaluation.
A copy of the written performance review and MVR check shall be given to the driver and the original placed in the driver’s personnel file. All records will be retained for [number of years] years.
Crash or Near-Miss Investigation
Investigate any crash or near miss involving personnel and vehicles. Crashes or near misses, regardless of the severity, must be reported immediately. The program administrator will be in charge of investigating crashes or near misses where serious property damage or death to an employee has occurred. The administrator will also be in charge of investigations when a third party is involved. Management may initiate any other investigations deemed appropriate.
Driver Responsibility in Crash or Near-Miss Investigation
Certain driver responsibilities must be carried out at the scene of a crash or near miss. The most important concerns are to deal with immediate problems and promptly gather and report pertinent information. Use the following procedure:
- Stop, stay calm.
- Turn on your emergency flashers. Do a quick evaluation of crash or near-miss victims, if any, and provide assistance. Set out emergency warning devices on the roadway.
- Contact local law enforcement personnel, or arrange to have someone do it. Provide information to authorities. Never admit guilt or liability at the scene of a crash or near miss. Never leave the scene of a crash or near miss.
- Write down names, license numbers, and other information of the people involved in the crash or near miss. The more detail you can provide, the better it will be for insurance and/or legal purposes. If you have a camera, document the situation with photographs from various angles.
- Communicate the crash or near miss to a supervisor.
- Complete the vehicle crash or near-miss report form at the scene of the incident.
- Safeguard in-vehicle technology from tampering, damage or theft (dash camera, etc.).
Vehicle Crash or Near-Miss Review
Review all vehicle crashes or near misses to determine cause and whether they were preventable. A preventable collision is when the driver failed to do everything they reasonably could have to avoid it.
The fact that a driver who becomes involved in a vehicle collision is not legally charged, doesn’t mean that the driver couldn’t have avoided it. Review collisions for preventability as a step to control vehicle accident frequency. Program administrator responsibilities in reviewing vehicle collisions are to:
- When possible, convene to consider the evidence presented after a collision involving a company vehicle. This includes information given by the driver, the supervisor, and the police report. This also applies to any employee authorized to drive a personal vehicle on official business.
- Determine the true cause of the collision and whether it was preventable.
- Review the driver's past driving record.
- Report the findings and recommendations for corrective action in writing.
- If it was preventable, schedule a personal meeting with the driver to discuss the decision, possible training, and/or disciplinary action.
When a breakdown happens, the driver must:
- Safely stop and secure the vehicle and load
- Safely place warning devices
- Diagnose and call in the breakdown to a supervisor
When a breakdown happens, the supervisor must:
- Determine the nature of the breakdown and best course of action
- Locate, contact, and dispatch personnel to facilitate repairs
- Obtain all vehicle repair records
Commit to following a daily inspection program. Vehicles should be inspected every day they are operated.
Driver Pre-Trip Inspection
Prior to operating, ensure that each assigned vehicle is in proper working condition. Each driver must check that any cargo is properly distributed and secured. The driver will review the last completed driver's vehicle inspection report to verify that any needed repairs were made.
If the defects noted were not acknowledged by an authorized signature, the driver shall not drive the vehicle until the defects are handled. Drivers should report safety-related problems or vehicle damage in a vehicle inspection report to a supervisor. The supervisor will sign the report indicating that repairs have been made or are not required to be made.
The inspection report and certification of repairs will be retained in the vehicle maintenance file. All other inspection reports, and any certification of repairs, will also be kept in the vehicle maintenance file.
Driver On-the-Road Inspection
Once on the road, the driver must examine any cargo and its load-securing devices and make necessary adjustments. If a problem is found, the driver will notify a supervisor and have the necessary repairs or adjustments made prior to operating the vehicle, or safely travel to the nearest repair facility.
Driver Safety Rules
All motor vehicle operators must obey all state laws and posted signs when operating vehicles. In addition, the following rules must be followed at all times.
General Safety Rules
Employees will not:
- Pick up hitchhikers.
- Accept payment for carrying passengers or materials.
- Use any radar detector, laser detector, or similar devices.
- Push or pull another vehicle.
- Transport flammable liquids or gases unless a DOT- or Underwriters’ Laboratories-approved container is used, and only then in limited quantities.
- Use burning flares (mostly discouraged - the preferred method to use reflective triangles).
- Assist disabled motorists or incident victims beyond levels of medical expertise - if a driver is unable to provide the proper medical care, assist by calling the proper authorities.
- Avoid driving faster than the flow of traffic, even if posted speeds and road conditions are higher than traffic speeds. Don’t weave through traffic to save time.
- While driving at night, reduce speed, watch for animals and pedestrians, and turn on lights.
- Use emergency flashers when stopped along roadways, when traveling well below speed limits, and in extreme weather, such as blizzards and heavy fog.
- Use headlights when driving both day and night. Headlights are required by law when using wipers, and between a half-hour after sunset and before sunrise.
- Check around vehicles for children and animals before driving or backing. You should visibly check for tire inflation and any fluid leaks during this walking inspection.
- Set the parking brakes when parking and leaving the driver’s seat.
The driver and all occupants are required to wear seatbelts when the vehicle is in operation or while riding in a vehicle. The driver is responsible for ensuring passengers wear their seatbelts. Children must be secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint as mandated by state law.
The driver must not operate a vehicle at any time when their ability to do so is impaired, affected, influenced by alcohol, illegal drugs, prescribed or over-the-counter medication, illness, fatigue, or injury.
Drivers are responsible for ensuring the vehicle is maintained in safe driving condition. Rental cars should be checked for obvious defects before leaving the rental office/lot. If necessary, request another vehicle if the first vehicle is unsafe.
Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices
Using a cell phone or other electronic device by the driver while the vehicle is moving is prohibited and should only be used in emergency situations.
Other Distracted Driving Items
In addition to limiting the use of cell phones and other electronic devices, there are other distractions in vehicles that can lead to crashes. The following could be considered distractions in vehicles that can lead to crashes and should be minimized while a vehicle is in motion:
- Eating or drinking
- Using technology, such as GPS and computers (location details should be programmed prior to the start of the trip so the driver does not need to adjust while driving)
- Attending to passengers, children, and pets
Aggressive driving can lead to a crash and includes speeding, tailgating, not signaling a lane change, running red lights and stop signs, weaving in traffic, yelling, making obscene gestures, and using the horn excessively. These behaviors create an increased risk for accidents.
Due to increased risk of personal injury, employees are prohibited from using motorcycles when traveling on company business.
Company and Personal Property
Employees are responsible for company property in their possession (computers, work papers, equipment, etc.). The company will not reimburse the employee for stolen personal property.
When in urban areas, employees should:
- Leave early enough to accommodate speed limits, construction zones, and unexpected delays.
- Maintain appropriate distances while in traffic. Don’t tailgate. For non-CDL drivers, maintain a 3+-second distance from vehicles ahead. For CDL required vehicles, drivers should use the 6+-second following distance rule. For CDL drivers, the rule is one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length but never less than six seconds.
- Be aware of a vehicle's blind spots and those of other vehicles. Speed up or slow down to positions where you can be seen and maintain appropriate distances.
Use extreme caution when driving in severe weather conditions. If there is doubt about travel safety, contact a supervisor for guidance.
Report damaged glass immediately to the program administrator. To reduce windshield damage:
- Keep a safe distance between vehicles, especially on gravel roads
- Use clean, greaseless, dry cloths to wipe the windshield
- Replace worn wiper blades when they begin to streak
- Use plastic or rubber ice scrapers, never metal
Vehicles approved for towing by the administrator may be used to tow trailers of any size or type.