As a business owner, investing in a set of vehicles to help you and your staff complete critical company tasks can lead to skyrocketing productivity, expanded mobility, and booming business. Still, with tremendous potential for business-related growth comes significant responsibility to ensure the long-term quality preservation of your company cars.
Should one of your full-time employees cause or find themselves involved in an automobile accident, you, as the employer, will need to deal with the accident aftermath—dented bumpers, whiplash injuries, and all. What will this process entail? Read on for more insight.
The aftermath of company car accidents
From distracted drivers to cupholder cappuccinos gone rogue (a very valid reason to cry over spilled milk), driving mishaps can grind the nerves of any business owner. In the case of accidents involving company cars, assigning blame, determining who pays, and factoring in state/local law are inevitable steps of the process.
So, who is responsible for forking over the cash for repairs? More often than not, an employer must assume responsibility for door-dings, head-on crashes, and the occasional rear-end collision, simply because they own the vehicle. However, there are a few exceptions. If the driver finds themselves tangled in a multi-vehicle pileup while off-the-clock or disobeying company orders (i.e. running a personal errand), the rattled employee may have to assume responsibility for the accident at hand.
If the employee was conducting business on-the-road or en route to a client meeting, coming to terms with the respondeat superior reality is an essential first step. For those business owners unfamiliar with this Latin term, “respondeat superior” asserts that all employers are responsible for the actions of their on-the-clock employees completing tasks outlined in their job description.
Rather than wasting precious company time determining fault, tending to employee injuries, and handling company car repairs, consult these tips to evade company automobile disasters and keep your company vehicles in excellent condition.
By taking steps like reviewing employee driving records, keeping tabs on personal insurance policies, and having drivers sign rule agreements, business owners can dodge dangerous circumstances and keep their company vehicles out of harm’s way. Be sure to only place your vehicles’ care in the hands of trustworthy employees who have proved that the likelihood of getting in an accident or abusing the automobile is low. If you want to rest assured that only the most responsible and well-trained drivers get behind the wheel of your company vehicles, consider encouraging or requiring your employees to take a defensive driving course from DriveSafe Online.
Enforce safety protocols
While some vehicular accidents are unavoidable, doing your best to dodge costly mishaps will save you time, money, and potential employee injury. Enforcing safety protocols by requiring drivers to abide by speed limits, prohibiting cell-phone use while driving, and forbidding non-professional use of the vehicle will help your company bypass preventable accidents. Furthermore, avoiding unprofessional faux pas while on the road will maintain your business’s admirable reputation.
Prioritize regular maintenance
Even the highest quality vehicles can fall victim to typical wear and tear, so prioritizing your company vehicle’s regular maintenance is a must. Invest in professional detailing and cleaning services to keep the car sparkling and mitigate the potentially damaging effects of water or dirt buildup. You and your team can ensure that automotive and mechanical challenges are nipped in the bud by frequently servicing the vehicle and treating the car to regular maintenance checks and oil changes.
Employ the right technology
With the right technological tools on your side, you’ll be prepared to sidestep incidents that may cause costly damage. Set your drivers up for success by utilizing rearview cameras, dash cams, and electronic automatic brake functions. Not only will your drivers have access to helpful driving tools, but you’ll be able to double-check footage, track vehicle whereabouts, and ensure that your vehicle operators are using the company car safely and responsibly.
Communicate with drivers
When it comes to ensuring that your drivers treat their company vehicles with the utmost respect, communication is key. Help your employees do their best by offering clear expectations regarding professional vehicle use, maintenance standards, and safe-driving rules. Consider incentivizing your employees to keep their vehicles in tip-top shape by providing employee buyouts that allow workers to purchase the car they’ve been driving at a significantly discounted price. With visions of their new vehicle in mind, employees will have personal motivation to take excellent care of their company automobiles.
Before you drive off
Once you take the proper steps to preserve your workplace vehicle’s condition, you’ll be riding in the fast lane to an even more successful business. Remember, covering medical bills and buffing out dents and dings will not monopolize space in your budget but may render your star employees out of commission. That said, taking the necessary precautions will save you the heartache of totaled company vehicles and out-of-office employees.