Fleet Safety Program

Auto accidents are the leading cause of work-related fatalities in the US. Use our sample Fleet Safety and Driver Safety manuals to guide development of your own program.
English and Español versions available.
top of vanAuto accidents are the leading cause of work-related fatalities in the United States.1 For many organizations, their fleet operations pose their greatest liability risk. It is important that organizations establish a formal fleet safety program to protect employees and reduce accident risk. A Fleet Safety Manual and Driver Safety Manual are important components to a fleet safety program.

3 steps to creating an effective fleet safety program

Step 1: Assemble the right group
Gather a group of individuals that can provide valuable input for a fleet safety program. Key individuals include:
  • Fleet management: purchasing, maintenance, dispatch/supervision
  • Human resources and safety management
  • Operations
  • Senior drivers (they can provide a lot of practical input)
Step 2: Review what you already have in place
Gather existing fleet safety related policies, procedures and rules.  Examine employee handbooks and employee orientation materials for driver-specific policies. They are all great resources and you want to make sure they are consistent with what you place in your fleet and driver manuals.

Step 3: Don’t start from scratch, use our samples
Nationwide® has prepared sample fleet safety and driver safety manuals that can be used as a guide to spur creation of your own program or individual policies.

Important notes about our sample manuals:
  • Each point should be reviewed to ensure it applies to your organization and removed or edited as applicable.
  • Do not include rules, policies, or procedures that you have no intention of enforcing as they may be used against you in the event of an accident.
  • These sample manuals are meant for non-DOT (Department of Transportation) regulated fleets. Some references have been made to DOT requirements where they may be considered a best practice for non-regulated fleets. Do not rely upon this document for DOT compliance.
  • These samples are not intended for organizations that haul nonemployee passengers such as school, taxi, limousine, bus, shuttle, medical or health and human services operations.
  • Additional rules / policies / procedures should be added to meet the specific needs of your operation, vehicle types, cargo hauled and local, state and federal DOT compliance requirements.
  • Consult your legal representative before implementation.
  • Management should review manuals on an annual basis to ensure they are up to date.
Some organizations choose to combine all their driver rules and policies into the management manual; providing the combined manual to drivers. We have chosen to create two companion documents, so that drivers only get what they need and are not overwhelmed by management policies and procedures.

Sample Fleet Safety Manual

Open Sample Fleet Safety Manual Español  

The purpose of a fleet safety manual is to outline policies and procedures related to fleet safety and provide guidance to those responsible for implementing the program. Topics include: 

  • Fleet Safety Responsibilities and Safety Committee
  • Vehicle Use
  • Employee-Owned Vehicles
  • Driver Rules and Responsibility
  • Driver Eligibility / Qualifications
  • Hiring Steps Specific to Drivers
  • Driver Orientation and Ongoing Safety Training
  • Driver Supervision
  • Driver Incentives and Recognition
  • Vehicle Selection, Maintenance and Inspections
  • Accident Management
  • Forms and Checklists
    • Driver Hiring and Orientation Checklist
    • Driver Road Test - Light Vehicles
    • Vehicle Inspection Checklist - Light Vehicles
    • Office Accident Procedures – Auto
    • Initial Report of Accident

Sample Driver Safety Manual

Open Sample Driver Safety Manual Español 

The purpose of a driver safety manual is to clearly lay out expectations for drivers operating organization owned or personal vehicles. 

  • Policy Statement
  • Driver Qualification / Eligibility
  • Vehicle Use and Restrictions
  • Distracted Driving
  • Fatigue / Illness / Drugs and Alcohol
  • Defensive Driving
  • Additional Driver Rules and Responsibilities
  • Roadway Emergency Stops
  • Accidents
  • Employee-Owned Vehicles
  • Vehicle Inspections and Maintenance 
Driver Manual Best Practices
  • Provide the manual to new drivers and review it with them during orientation.
  • Drivers should sign the policy statement and initial each section of the manual as it is reviewed.
  • Make a copy of the signed / initialed document for the employee’s file and provide the original to the driver.
  • Review sections of the manual periodically throughout the year during safety / driver meetings.
  • Management should review the manual at least annually. Updates should be communicated with all drivers.

Additional Resources

Commercial auto accident reporting kit
Fleet safety responsibility and safety committees 
Driver safety programs 
Mobile device safety policy 
DOT Specific
Complying with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (checklist)
DOT Safety Planner: general guidance and sample forms 
DOT driver qualification best practices
Drug and alcohol: CDL drivers 
DOT maintenance requirements
Bureau of Labor Statistics [2018]. Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 2017