Filed Under:Agent Broker, Personal Lines Business

6 ways employers can lower auto expenses

When employers keep their drivers safe, they'll boost productivity and help lower costs. A win-win for both parties. (Photo: Shutterstock)
When employers keep their drivers safe, they'll boost productivity and help lower costs. A win-win for both parties. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Employers depend on their employees to help their business thrive, but many employees can't do that without a car to get them to work. 

With auto accidents on the rise, employers should consider how they keep their drivers safe. In turn, they'll notice that their bottom line gets a boost.  

Focusing on driver safety will protect employers from potentially avoidable claims, promote unity in the workplace, and lower costs. Travelers has analyzed which measures will be in the best interest of both employers and drivers.  

Keep reading to check out which steps Travelers suggests employers keep in mind.

Related: 5 key facts about small business auto insurance coverage

car repair shop

Settling for the first mechanic may cost you to pay more than necessary. Online auto shops or used pieces often offer cheaper options. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The cost of car repair

Practicing safe driving is the easiest way to avoid auto accidents and costly car repairs. Employers can teach their employees the best practices for driving in poor weather, using car safety technologies and regularly checking your tires. Many insurers also offer safe drivers discounts, a simple way to lower costs. 

According to Popular Mechanics, employers should shop around in case car repair is required. Different mechanics have different prices. Online auto shops offer less expensive parts than others and remanufactured or used parts can often do the job. Replacing parts at recommended intervals can also reduce the brunt of costs in the long-run. 

Related: 17 keys to improving your bottom line

Telematics can help correct driver behavior as increased congestion on the road can lead to distractions and a higher number of accidents. (Photo: AP/Frank Franklin II)

More cars on the road

Using telematics to monitor and correct driver behavior can prove useful as roads become more congested.

Vehicle telematics systems can provide fleet managers valuable data to help improve operational efficiencies and fleet safety, including data about driving behaviors, such as speeding, braking, abrupt lane changes and idling. Using this data as part of an ongoing safe driving feedback and coaching program can help reduce the potential for accidents and help keep your drivers, customers and the public safe.

Related: 20 best car insurance companies of 2016 ranked by consumers

Drivers engaged with their smartphones while driving are distracted and pose a major risk for all drivers on the road. (Photo: AP/LM Otero)

Distracted drivers

Implement distracted driver policies to establish an organization's position on mobile device use and other distracting while driving. These safety policies must be communicated on a regular basis and employers should lead by example. Established policies can greatly reduce the likelihood of an accident

Employers should identify all drivers, including those who use their personal vehicles, and have management to commit to the program. It's also important to screen and select drivers carefully. Drivers and accidents should be managed on an ongoing basis. 

Related: 5 reasons to embrace telematics for the connected car: What insurers need to know

Drivers who drive fatigued put themselves and their employer at risk. Comfortable sleep accommodations for shift workers are just one way to promote safe driving. (Source: Shutterstock)

Drivers in poor health

Studies show that 94 percent of accidents are caused by driver factors.
 With this in mind, Travelers advises employers to consider a drivers' health and wellness when they are on the road. Training about proper rest and the risks of driving while fatigued will remind drivers not to push on when they are fatigued. Sleep apnea awareness resources and comfortable sleeping accommodations for shift workers operating remote areas will promote safer driver.

Exercise, healthy food options, considering medication side effects and identifying medical conditions, such as diabetes, will increase the number of healthy, aware drivers on the road.

Related: A New Year’s Eve app to fight drowsy driving

Lack of experience can prevent young drivers from feeling comfortable on the road, opening up liabilities if they are driving on behalf of a company. (Photo: Shutterstock) 

Younger, less experienced drivers 

Anyone who drives a vehicle on behalf of your company, whether it is owned by the company, rented, or is a personal vehicle, should be considered a driver.

Travelers reminds employers to keep these seven tips in mind

  • Create consistent standards for all drivers.
  • Verify past work history and safety records.
  • Conduct background checks.
  • Evaluate motor vehicle records (MVRs).
  • Conduct written and road tests.
  • Verify any certifications.
  • Adhere to applicable commercial vehicle driver qualification rules.

Related: 5 driving risks you need to talk about with your teens

Employee safety orientation can emphasize the company's overall culture of safety and remind drivers to be responsible on the road. (Source: Shutterstock)

Injury costs from accidents

Offering continuous training/onboarding, employee safety orientation and on-the-job safety training and orientation are three ways Travelers predicts injury costs can stay down.

While some employers think of onboarding only for new employees, the process is also important for retaining and engaging employees over the full term of their employment. Employee safety orientation should include an overview of the general facility, job-related roles and the overall culture of safety. On-the-job safety training and orientation should include both skill-based and awareness-based training. This gives employees tactical knowledge and cultural awareness of why safety practices are important.

Related: A look at fall's most common road hazards, region by region

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