24/03/2015

By Fleet21
Sponsored article from Co-Pilot

Having a robust and comprehensive safe driving policy is an essential compliance activity for any business that asks employees to drive on business, whether that is in a company vehicle, a hire car, a pool car, or even their own private car. This is how the company sets out the ground rules for acceptable driving behaviour and the content is there to protect not just the driver, but other road users, and also the employer themselves from potential prosecution in the event a driver is involved in a serious collision. A well-communicated policy can also improve driving standards and help to reduce accident costs.

Following a crash, employers are often prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work Act for breaches of duty of care, and a poor policy, poorly communicated can be introduced as an ‘aggravating factor’ where the prosecution believe the driver could have avoided the crash had the employer written a better policy and communicated it more effectively to the driver.

And this gets us to the nub of the problem – communication. Many companies, even those with good policies, simply don’t communicate them effectively to drivers. The policy document is often a simple list of bullet points on a couple of sheets of A4 paper, hidden in the staff manual. Maybe the driver read it when they first joined, maybe they didn’t. Maybe they’ve been there a few years and haven’t seen it since they joined. All of this would expose a company being prosecuted.

Footprint media is working with driver safety consultants Fleet21 to help employers harness the latest smartphone app technology to help with this challenge and it is a solution that brings many other benefits too.

– By presenting the policy in a smartphone app, an employer can overcome one of the major obstacles straightaway – the policy is on a device that is often constantly in the pocket of each driver.

– Any changes or updates to the policy can be reflected immediately.

– Employers can be sure that their drivers have ready access to vital sections such as what to do in the event of a breakdown or accident. It’s easy to panic in these situations and ensuring your driver procedure is vital both for their safety and accurate incident reporting.

– The app allows the driver to record vital accident information such as witness details and photos of the location or damage and email it straight to the office.

– The app can contain safe driving information and even driver training resources including videos and factsheets – a really effective way of enhancing driver awareness without the logistical issues around workshops or on-road training.

– Apps allow the employer to send alerts and messages direct to all their drivers to reinforce important points such as mobile phone policy or remind them to check their vehicles regularly.