Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related fatalities across all industries. According to the NCCI, the frequency of work-related motor vehicle injury claims is increasing, while the frequency of all claims is decreasing. Motor vehicle accidents cost 80% to 100% more than the average claim because they often involve severe injuries. Driving is the most hazardous task most employees complete during the workday. Educational organizations that ask employees to undertake driving activities while they work, must have fleet safety and safe driving policies in place.
Fleet safety policies need to consider both managing vehicle issues and employee driving behaviors. Some points to consider when developing or auditing your fleet and driver safety programs are below:

  • Senior management must be committed to and support the fleet and driver safety programs.
  • Designate a fleet manager to monitor the fleet and driver programs.
  • Develop written policies and procedures for fleet safety rules and specific driving behaviors, including:

            - Mandatory seatbelt use
            - Prohibit use of cell phone and other distracting electronic devices
            - Address distracted, aggressive, and fatigued driving behaviors
            - Clarify the drug and alcohol policies related to driving

  • All drivers must acknowledge, understand, and agree to follow fleet and driver safety programs. (Coaching and discipline procedures should be outlined in agreement.)
  • Address the use of employee-owned vehicles for business purposes and company-owned vehicle use for personal purposes.
  • Develop a monitoring system that qualifies safe drivers and disqualifies unsafe drivers. (Review motor vehicle record checks and actively monitor current state motor vehicle records to help with this.)
  • All employees must follow the same process for qualifying, training, and safely operating company-owned vehicles.
  • Conduct driver training before first use, corrective training as needed, and annual refresher training.
  • Implement a procedure to ensure all fleet vehicles are routinely serviced at least as often as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Implement a procedure to ensure all fleet vehicles are inspected and maintained for safe use.
  • Provide pre-trip inspection documents to all vehicle users.
  • Keep all maintenance, inspection, service, and repair records.
  • The use of in-vehicle monitoring systems can help prevent distracted driving and increase safe driving behaviors.
  • Train employees on specific steps to follow in case of an emergency or accident. Keep copies of these steps in all fleet vehicles.

The ANSI/ASSP Z15 standard is a good place to start for educational organizations looking to develop a fleet safety program. Educational organizations with an existing program, or fleet manager, can use the same standard to audit the current program.