Keep this handy checklist for your clients to help them take proper precautions to deter fleet loss.
1. Determine the extent of fleet loss exposures (types, causes, sources, number and cost of potential accidents):
- Use the risk management process to identify and determine the frequency and severity of fleet risks.
- Benchmark–compare losses to others in the industry.
2. Implement a preventive maintenance program that includes a regular inspection and maintenance schedule. Vehicle-operating manuals will often suggest a maintenance routine. Documentation is key.
3. Create fleet policies and procedures that could include:
- A Motor Vehicle Safety Policy that would establish the organization’s philosophy of safety and the way it expects drivers to perform.
- A Vehicle Selection and Acquisition Policy that would establish the minimum safety requirements for new vehicle purchases.
- A Preventive Maintenance (PM) Policy.
- A policy for the disposal of vehicles to ensure that ownership is entirely transferred.
- A driver screening and hiring policy to establish minimum requirements of drivers (e.g., number of years experience, maximum number of traffic violations).
- A list of unauthorized uses including driving while impaired (drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, health impairments, fatigue), personal use, driving outside given geographical areas.
- Maximum allowable speeds.
- Safe following distances.
4. Create a fleet safety manual for drivers. Each driver should have access to a copy. If each driver has read and has access to the policies and procedures, there is no excuse not to abide by them.
- Include all company policies and procedures related to driving.
- Create a pocket manual with key points, for quick and frequent reference.
5. Communicate any policy/procedure changes to all drivers. Have them sign to acknowledge that they understand the new policy/procedure and will abide by it.
6. Encourage drivers to give feedback and suggestions about how to improve fleet safety.
7. Ensure drivers receive regular training. Provide refresher courses.
8. Ensure vehicles are stored in a safe place after hours to prevent theft.
- Install vehicle alarm systems.
- Lock the doors.
- Do not leave valuables in plain view.
- Ensure that indoor storage of vehicles is safe and that safeguards such as exhaust fans, fire suppression systems, and fire alarms are in place. Give consideration to the potential risk of losing several or all vehicles in one incident and how that risk might be mitigated, for example, by separating the vehicles or using different buildings/locations.
9. Reward and publicize safe driving.
10. Ensure drivers know the procedure to follow in the case of an incident/accident.
- Provide them with a first-aid kit.
- Provide them with a safety kit, which should include a shovel, towrope, booster cables, tool kit, fuel line antifreeze, flashlight, blankets, candles and matches.
- Make sure they know their supervisor’s phone number and the phone number for emergency services.
Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada
© Copyright 2010 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the June 2010 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine.