For employees who drive a company car or company vehicle, safety is essential to ensuring the optimal driving experience. No employee should be provided with an unsafe car, nor should any employee be driving a vehicle owned by their workplace in an unprofessional and unsafe manner.
There is an obligation from both parties, employee and employer, to prioritize safety. Employees need to take precautions when operating any motor vehicle, such as a car, truck, or van.
Here are twelve essential driving safety tips for employees:
Safety Tip #1: Drive attentively.
Just like when driving their vehicle, an employee doesn’t want to be fidgeting with something in their hands, work paperwork, the radio, earbuds, a smartphone, or anything else. Hands-on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Safety Tip #2: Set realistic travel plans.
This is something for both employees and employers to work on. If an employee’s being timed during a drive, such as in the case of delivery, have realistic expectations on when, where, and how the job will work. Unrealistic expectations can lead to speeding, shortcuts in safety, and reckless behaviours as it pertains to driving.
Safety Tip #3: Install a phone mount
Distraction-free driving is a must, but employees may not always know where they’re going. Install a smartphone mount of some kind inside. Have a place to safely put a GPS or phone to navigate. This will ensure you don’t miss a turn and prevent you from having to reach over to check your route.
Safety Tip #4: Always inspect your car.
Assess the vehicle you are about to drive before you get in. Walk around the car and identify damage or changes that could make the vehicle unsafe. When getting in, ensure the seat, mirrors, and headrest are adjusted to the spots you like.
Check the automotive lights to verify they’re working. If the vehicle doesn’t pass an employee’s self-assessment for safety, don’t drive it. Contact your supervisor immediately and tell them there’s a safety issue.
Safety Tip #5: Install automotive LED lights.
You can make your car safer with automotive LED lights. They can be used for brighter, more versatile headlights, backup lights, brake and taillights, fog lights, side markers, interior lights, underbody lights, and license plate lights.
Once installed, they should be kept clean and in working order, ensuring both low and high beams are working. Automotive lights are something that often goes overlooked in routine employee vehicle maintenance.
Safety Tip #6: Don’t drive when you’re tired.
You shouldn’t be behind the wheel if you’re not well-rested and alert. It’s an employee’s responsibility to ensure they arrive well-rested. However, if they are driving long distances over several hours, take regular stops to rest when needed.
Safety Tip #7: Eat and stay hydrated during the day.
When someone’s fed and hydrated, they’re generally more alert and less aggressive while driving. For long trips or if an employee’s day is mostly driving, ensure you’re making stops to rest and taking the time to eat. Have some water with you at all times, and prioritize your mental and physical health throughout your journey.
Safety Tip #8: Wear your seatbelt while driving.
Seatbelts save lives. In the US alone, nearly 15,000 fatal incidents are avoided yearly by the driver and passengers wearing their seatbelts. Always wear a seatbelt when you’re driving.
Safety Tip #9: Prepare for your trip beforehand.
Anything you need, as an employee, should be in the car and prepared before you start the vehicle. You don’t want to have to turn around or be searching beside you for an item while you’re driving. The second you turn the key to start the vehicle, you’re in ‘driving mode.’
Safety Tip #10: Notify colleagues of unsafe road conditions.
After arriving at your destination, if others are coming or you know you’re going to hit the road again, notify your supervisor and colleagues of unsafe routes, things to watch for, or anything else that may have to be factored into a trip.
Tip #11: Get the vehicle maintained regularly.
Over months, any vehicle requires maintenance to stay safe and work well. This applies to work vehicles as well. When their oil is changed, ensure a proper inspection is done. Anything requiring a repair should be done immediately. An employee is allowed to refuse to drive in an unsafe vehicle. Things we might tolerate in our vehicles, unrelated to safety, shouldn’t be acceptable at work. Everything should be maintained to the best of one’s abilities.
Safety Tip #12: Drive according to road conditions
Some employees may need to speed up their driving or drive recklessly when road conditions or weather prevent them from meeting a work expectation or quota. This shouldn’t ever be done. If one is concerned about meeting a delivery time or arriving at a destination within a certain period and knows beforehand that it will be difficult considering road, weather, and traffic, talk to a supervisor and make arrangements to ensure no one’s driving in an unsafe manner to meet a specific work performance measurement.