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Data gathered on driver speed, harsh braking, rapid acceleration, driver drowsiness and more allows employers to record incidents, intervene in unsafe driving conditions and train their employees to practice safer habits. (Credit: kryzhov/Shutterstock) Data gathered on driver speed, harsh braking, rapid acceleration, driver drowsiness and more allows employers to record incidents, intervene in unsafe driving conditions and train their employees to practice safer habits. (Credit: kryzhov/Shutterstock)

Unsurprisingly, employing drivers is a risky business. Not only to the vehicle, the driver, and the company itself, but insurance providers, agents and brokers, as well. Federal regulations require commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds to carry $750,000 in insurance coverage. However, even with proper coverage, a company’s liability for an employee’s mistake — negligent entrustment — places an immense burden of responsibility on the insured — and by proxy, the insurer.

The doctrine of respondent superior states that liability is determined to be of the employer if they are indirectly responsible for employee behavior deemed negligent. In the face of accident litigation, employers need to be able to prove that they take meaningful steps to recognize and deter unsafe driving and evaluate potential road risks. Luckily, 2019 has ushered in a new wave of innovative, vision-based telematics technology solutions that are helping fleet managers and insurance agents monitor and reduce risky driver behavior and protect against negligent entrustment. With the use of next-generation GPS technology to identify risks and unsafe behavior, and artificial intelligence (AI) to detect the situation surrounding the accident, companies ensure that every proactive step is taken to protect themselves from negligent entrustment.

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