Numerous employees across the country need to drive vehicles as part of their job in addition to driving to and from the office. Companies are increasingly looking to create official policies surrounding the use of either personal or company-owned vehicles by their employees to protect both the company and employees from any potential problems. But, before drafting a plan, employers need to understand the potential liabilities related to having employees drive vehicles for work. Keep reading to learn more about what a vehicle policy includes and why an organization should consider adopting an official vehicle policy.
Vehicle Policies Defined
A company vehicle policy, simply stated, is a manual that addresses all policies and procedures around employees’ use of personal or company vehicles during official work duties. This includes which employees are eligible for company-owned vehicles, personal conduct requirements for operating the vehicles, and driver liability and responsibility requirements. For company-owned cars and trucks, make sure to include a statement about the purpose of the vehicles, driver eligibility, maintenance requirements, usage guidelines, fuel policy, mobile phone usage, safety expectations surrounding usage of cell phones, seat belts, and airbags, as well as the procedure if there are any theft, vandalism, or accidents. For personal vehicle use, make sure to address any insurance requirements, safety policies, and reimbursement rates and procedures.
Why Adopt a Vehicle Policy?
Like heavy machinery, vehicles can cause significant damage and even death when misused. If an employee is using a vehicle as part of their official job duties and causes a severe accident, the employee usually is included on any legal action. Having a formal policy in place can help to limit any exposure a company could face. However, this only works when an official policy is in place and is enforced with employee disciplinary action when needed. Additionally, employers need to make sure they have adequate commercial vehicle insurance for any company-owned vehicles, as well as an added non-owned auto liability endorsement to protect their assets in case an employee is involved in an accident while conducting company business.
Employers are learning that it’s best to have a written official vehicle policy for their organizations to minimize confusion and clearly state rules and responsibilities for employee’s who use either company or personal vehicles in an official capacity. So reader, what’s your company policy for vehicles?