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Make safety a priority for your new drivers

As a business owner, fleet executive, or risk and safety manager, you want your drivers to make safe driving a top priority and are probably well aware of the associated costs, liabilities, and other negative effects that unsafe driving can have on your business.

A good plan is to communicate a “safety first” message from the start by educating new drivers about your company’s safe driving policies and procedures during their initial onboarding. Here are some suggestions for setting them on the right path:

  • Set the tone immediately. Make it clear in your job posting that safe driving is important to your business, and that applicants with poor driving records simply won’t be considered.
  • Follow through. The job application should clearly state that applicants’ motor vehicle records (MVR) will be checked. Also, be sure the MVR disclosure appears on its own piece of paper that is separate from the rest of the application.
  • Require safety training. Offer safe-driving training and mix it up, because we all learn differently. Some ideas include behind-the-wheel training, online courses, one-on-one coaching, and peer-mentoring programs pairing new drivers with more experienced ones.
  • Establish a safe-driving policy. Have a plainly written and clearly understood safety policy that is meaningful to each driver as well as to your management team.
  • Offer time-management courses. Accidents can happen if a driver feels time-pressured to accomplish too much in the course of a day. Time-management training can help a driver better handle the workload and avoid risky driving behavior, such as speeding.

These are just a few ways you can steep your new employees in a “safety first” culture during the onboarding process. From there, it’s important to make driving safety an ongoing priority. You can do this by offering continuous safety training and refresher courses. Also communicate your company’s safe driving policy often. Print it (in abbreviated form) on signage on buildings and trucks, in your company newsletter, and so forth—it shouldn’t be a document that’s reviewed by the employee once at time of hire and then forgotten.

For motor carriers, another way to keep safe driving top of mind is to regularly review your drivers’ MVRs. Department of Transportation regulations require that you pull MVRs once per year for each driver you employ. Checking more frequently allows you to know sooner when an adverse action has occurred so that you can take prompt corrective action to address potential problems. But ordering multiple MVRs throughout the year can increase overhead costs. Automated monthly driver monitoring offers a simplified solution.

With automated monthly driver monitoring, you’ll receive an alert when new activity appears on your drivers’ MVR records. This helps you to stay compliant and can lower your costs without overburdening your resources. Should you receive an alert on any of your monitored drivers, an MVR for that driver is automatically ordered, which you can review, and if necessary, use to take immediate corrective action.

Katie James

Katie James is government relations manager for iiX, a Verisk business. You can reach Katie at

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