3 Questions to Ask About Your Fleet Safety Program
Michael Kline – Executive Vice President, Partner, CCIG
Managing a fleet of vehicles, whether that includes pickup trucks or large construction vehicles, is a critical part of any construction company. But it’s important to note that there is an inherent risk associated with vehicle and driver management.
Did you know there are several key ways to strengthen your fleet safety position? You can take proactive steps to address common issues and protect your drivers and your business. In addition, fleet safety programs are an essential way to help reduce insurance costs and other indirect costs resulting from claims, accidents, or violations.
If you manage a fleet as part of your role, consider the following questions.
What formal fleet safety policies do you have in place?
Before providing commercial vehicle insurance, many carriers now require a review of formal fleet safety and driver safety manuals. Even if your carrier hasn’t asked for this documentation yet, it’s wise to put programs and policies in place since you’ll likely need to provide documentation in the future.
Essential items to consider in fleet and driver safety manuals:
- Maintenance and inspection requirements
- Restrictions on vehicle use
- Driver expectations and responsibilities
- Accident avoidance and management
- Cell phone policies
- Passenger restrictions
According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, motor vehicle workers’ compensation claims cost over 80% more than the average lost-time claim because car accidents tend to cause more severe injuries. Unfortunately, many driving incidents are out of our control, but formal training programs and safety procedures help protect your drivers and better prepare them for risks on the road.
What’s your process for onboarding new drivers?
In today’s tight job market, who isn’t hiring drivers? When you have positions to fill that require the use of a company vehicle, take time to outline and implement a new driver onboarding process. This provides documented structure around your safety programs and empowers your new drivers with the tools and resources to be safe and successful on the job.
Common driver onboarding tasks include:
- Requesting motor vehicle background checks (and updating with new checks annually)
- Requiring experience with commercial or construction vehicles
- Conducting a road test
- Ensuring new drivers complete your safety training before they start driving for the company
Incorporating something as simple as reviewing seatbelt practices with your new drivers (and reminding current drivers) could make a significant impact. The Colorado Department of Transportation found that 53% of people who died in a motor vehicle crash were not wearing a seat belt. When driving is a large part of your team’s job, safety practices are crucial for protecting your crew.
How do you keep your safety programs current throughout the year?
Maintaining fleet and driver safety is an ongoing process, and it’s crucial to review your policies continually. New challenges and risk considerations arise every day, so stay informed on the latest issues that could impact your fleet.
A compelling example is Colorado’s skyrocketing rate of catalytic converter thefts. The Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority found a 5,000% increase in thefts from 2019 to 2021. The high cost of catalytic converter replacement and a sharp uptick in incidents brought this issue to the forefront for many individuals, companies, and insurance carriers. You can always reach out to your insurance agent to learn more about the types of claims they see and ways to ensure your business is adequately covered for today’s challenges.
Additionally, engage your drivers in ongoing conversations about safety risks. Implement regular training and informational sessions to encourage your team to keep road safety top of mind.
Fleet and driver programs keep your team safe on the road
Creating a robust, ongoing safety program supports the health of your team and helps protect your business. By documenting your policies and procedures, you can keep up with evolving insurance needs through more coverage options and better pricing.
The most meaningful benefit to creating and maintaining fleet safety programs is the well-being of your drivers, since a commitment to these policies is ultimately the highest commitment to your team.
If you’re interested in evaluating your fleet safety program or making improvements to your overall risk management program, please contact your CCIG team at email@example.com.
 National Council on Compensation Insurance. 2018. “Motor Vehicle Accidents in Workers Compensation.”
 Colorado Department of Transportation 2019 Problem Identification Report
 Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority. 2022.