Auto Accidents are the leading cause of work-related fatalities, accounting for almost 22% of all deaths.1 Accidents resulting in injuries to your clients and other motorists also pose considerable risk. Some of these accidents involve your employees or volunteers driving their personal vehicles for company errands, driving residents to doctor appointments, delivering food, etc. It is often easy to forget about the use of personal vehicles and their drivers when implementing a risk management program, even though they pose a similar risk as your company owned vehicles.
To reduce your liability exposure, employees and volunteers driving their own vehicles should be screened and subject to the same training as the drivers of your company owned vehicles. Some drivers of personal vehicles may only have minimal insurance limits, or no auto insurance at all. If an accident were to occur, it could end up being your responsibility and result in additional costs to your organization.
Asking for more from volunteers, such as proof of insurance, attending driver training, or inspecting their vehicle can be challenging. However, most people understand the importance of these expectations when explained, and certainly clients deserve to be transported in a safe vehicle by a qualified driver.
Risk management controls that will strengthen your fleet program include:
- Authorization of anyone driving their personal vehicle should be approved in writing, after meeting all qualifications.
- Rules and policies should be determined with clear expectations and with driver sign off.
- Driver qualification conducted to ensure driver maintains valid driver’s license, acceptable MVR, and adequate driving experience.
- Safe driver training with education and awareness are key to reducing accidents.
- Vehicle qualifications completed to ensure only vehicles in safe operating condition are being used, proof of annual inspections by a qualified mechanic are obtained, and old vehicles or excessive mileage vehicles are not being used. Verify safety belts for passengers are operational.
- Establish minimum auto liability insurance limits ($100,000) for employees and volunteers. Currently 13% of drivers do not have auto insurance and state requirements are inadequate to cover a severe accident. Proof of insurance should be provided.
Nationwide Loss Control Services has a wide variety of resources to help with your risk management controls as described above. Visit MyLossControlServices.com to access all our loss control resources.
Our Non-Owned Vehicle Management article contains more information and links to several additional resources including:
- A sample Authorization to Use Personal Vehicles form, including safe driving policies and rules
- A sample Non-Owned Vehicle and Driver Qualification Checklist
- A sample vehicle inspection form and MVR
- Driver training resources
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics . Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 2020