As a small business owner, your reputation means everything. Being recognized as a fair and reliable service provider is important. But sometimes it’s easy to forget that other things can impact the attitudes of your community, which can be just as important to your bottom line. The actions you and your employees take behind the wheel of a vehicle bearing your name speak volumes about your business.
Managing the driving behavior of your employees can be difficult. It’s also one of the most important and can have a significant impact on your expenses. Speeding, hard braking, cutting people off, improperly securing equipment and distracted driving get noticed and remembered by the public. According to fleetio.com 87% of fleet drivers have engaged in at least one risky behavior within the past month.
How can this affect the bottom line?
Tickets and accidents have a direct impact on the cost of auto insurance. Having clean driving records and a low claim history will result in more insurance options and better rates. Accidents can be extremely costly. If one of your employees has an accident, gets hurt and injures someone else, it could create a ripple effect that can carry on for a long time, and in business, time is money. The cost for loss of use of the vehicle and equipment, an employee being out of work on workers’ compensation and the potential lawsuits can be astronomical. That’s just the potential direct cost. Think of the indirect cost. Every time someone gets behind the wheel of your business vehicle, they are representing you and your business. If one of your employees does something inappropriate while driving, they are turning people off from your business and that is potential money lost.
The good news is, there are things you can do mitigate your risk. At minimum, we recommend doing the following:
- Conduct and MVR check on every driver
- Create a formal driver safety policy
- Establish a no distracted driving policy
- Provide ongoing training
- Keep your vehicles well maintained
Some businesses find success by incentivizing employees for their good driving habits. Setting a goal for your employees to have a clean driving record for a set period of time and offering them cash bonuses or gift cards for that success can motivate them to be more thoughtful behind the wheel. Depending on the scope of your business and the size of your fleet, there may be additional actions to consider, such as GPS fleet tracking and fleet management certification.