Drivers? We don’t employ any drivers
When I approach businesses about driver training I am often told “we don’t have any drivers”.
A business may not employ people specifically as drivers, but it is very rare that employees are never required to go out on the road on company business.
What about the sales reps? Or the technicians?
How do they get to clients when you need them to?
It does not matter whether they are driving a company-supplied vehicle or their own car the fact is that if they are out on company business then employers have a duty of care under Health and Safety regulations both to the employee and to other road users.
So, it makes sense to check that they have an up to date licence, whether there have been any penalties imposed and whether their insurance is up to date and correct.
It also makes sense to ensure that all employees are given a copy of the business’ written policy on driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, and its policy on using mobile phones in the vehicle.
Whatever their role within the company, if employees are out and about on company business they are its public face and custodians of its reputation.
But there are other, equally important reasons why their driving style and behaviour should be assessed.
Firstly, usually a business will pay mileage and a contribution for wear and tear or maintenance when an employee is using their own car. Keeping costs down is important and a driver who has been through training in driving safely and economically can make a substantial difference to the costs.
Secondly, and perhaps most important of all, is the employer’s duty of care to both employees and other road users. Should they be involved in a collision, it will help the business in any subsequent investigation if it can demonstrate that it has done everything it can to ensure its employees have been assessed and given appropriate training in safe and economical driving.
Again, it can save on subsequent costs and claims and perhaps even a prosecution.