Whether your employees drive a company vehicle or you allow them to drive their personal vehicle, you should have a driving policy in place that provides guidelines for what is acceptable behavior while driving, not only for your business necessity, but also for the safety of your employee and other drivers on the road.
Your driving policy should state that you comply with all federal, state and/or municipal driving laws. This includes age and license requirements, vehicle safety checks, and laws regarding seat belt and cell phone use. Your driving policy should also be consistent with other policies you have in place, such as your drug-free workplace policy and safety policy.
Consider the below the basic guidelines when drafting your driving policy and before allowing anyone to drive a vehicle for your business. For more in-depth information on driver requirements, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Know the legal requirements
- Contact your insurance carrier and confirm what their standards are for insuring drivers in a company vehicle and a personal vehicle used for company business.
- Check your state/county laws to confirm driving regulations & laws.
General items to outline in your policy
• Driver must be at least “X” years of age
The age for a basic delivery driver can be 16, but most businesses prefer 18 and older. Vehicles carrying passengers or meeting certain weight standards must be 21 or older. In the U.S., these types of vehicles are differentiated by gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). A driver must meet criteria for a Class A, Class B or Class C category. CLICK HERE for more information on class ratings.
• Driver must be physically able to operate a vehicle safely
Ensure there are no physical restrictions that prevent the employee from operating a vehicle. When considering this, keep in mind that there are accommodations that can be made for certain driving positions. CLICK HERE for information on accommodating drivers.
• Driver must be physically able to load/unload the vehicle if required
If required, a driver must be physically able to load/unload material or product safely from the vehicle they are driving. CLICK HERE for information on accommodations for material handling.
• Driver must be able to see, read and understand road signs and signals
Drivers must be able to see and understand road signs and signals with or without vision correction (glasses or contacts), and while English doesn’t necessarily have to be a driver’s primary language, they need to be able to read and understand road signs and signals in English.
• Driver must possess a valid driver’s license to operate the assigned vehicle
A valid driver’s license is required to legally drive a vehicle on roads in the U.S., and depending on the type of vehicle(s) being driven, a driver may be required to have multiple licenses. State what license is required for which size vehicle (Class A, Class B or Class C license), or if multiple licenses are required…and if deliveries are made via a scooter or motorcycle, a license may be required to operate this type of vehicle.
• Driver must pass a DMV background check
A thorough DMV background check should be conducted. You will need to determine what your rules will be for any infractions that show up. These can include tickets, accidents, DUIs, suspended licenses, etc. You may elect to oversee a transgression depending on the circumstances and length of time since the event. Make sure you have this stated in your policy and follow it consistently for all drivers.
• Driver must pass a drug & alcohol screening
All drivers should pass a drug & alcohol screening. You should outline what you consider “under the influence.” Set your standards for illegal substances and over-the-counter or doctor prescribed medications. Keep this section consistent with your drug-free workplace policy.
• Driving & Material Safety
All drivers should become familiar with your driving and safety protocol.
This can include:
- Measures for the driver and material – speed limits, parking locations, locking of vehicle, handling of money (both physical or discussion of), vehicle maintenance, safety equipment (for personal or material use), etc.
General precautions should include where vehicle/information is kept, what to do during an accident, using cell phone while driving, picking up hitchhikers, passengers, and guidelines if making deliveries to customer’s homes, and other requirements you consider pertinent.
Your driving policy should indicate if your drivers are required to take a driving test and how often they are required to retest or review your driving program. Your policy and program should be reviewed annually. Make sure drivers are made aware of any changes or updates to your policy or program immediately.
EAF members have access to sample driving standards policies in the member only website, as well as sample forms for background and drug screening, accident report forms, etc.
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