When it comes to making an impact on your workers, driving policies and training are arguably the most powerful tools you can use. And they work hand in hand.
Brandon Dufour knows a lot about driver training. His family business, All-Star Driver, has been teaching thousands of new drivers in Connecticut each year. The business has recently extended its scope to employee driver training.
Employers often believe that common sense is enough to keep their workers crash-free, says Dufour. They don’t see the value in developing a detailed policy because the rules seem so obvious—don’t text and drive; don’t drink and drive. But obvious isn’t enough when lives are at stake.
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If you’re ready to make positive changes, Dufour suggests starting with your employee handbook—review your driving policies, and make sure you’re training on them. If you don’t have policies, you’re exposing your business to significant risk. “Call a labor attorney, your risk manager, us, get help from somebody,” he suggests.
The All-Star approach is policy-driven. “We’ve created a policy that will cover 95 percent of employers for any type of driver negligence claims. We provide the policy and train employees step by step on it.”
The All-Star policy relies on a full ban on distracted driving. “The stats are really mind-numbing,” says Dufour. “Distracted driving—texting, e-mailing, Web browsing, or putting an address into a GPS—is the number one cause of death and injury on the road, above drinking and driving.”
He adds that while most people realize that driving is a risky activity, very few feel that they are personally at risk.
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If an employee is found to be texting and driving, for example, a first offense would yield a warning with a penalty and a second offense would lead to termination. The same applies to drinking and driving.
It is telling that Dufour’s “sent from my iPhone” message includes the words, “Sent from my iPhone, but not while driving. If you’re reading this while driving, please stop. Park your phone. Drive your car.”