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March 7, 2023

5 Things Most Employers Don’t Know about Driver Screening & Monitoring

Organizations widely use background screening to ensure they hire safe, qualified employees who positively contribute to the workplace. Companies that employ drivers may think this process puts them in the clear, but it may not.

Having drivers on the payroll opens your company up to significant risk beyond the “average” employee. This shouldn’t be ignored. By learning all about driver screening and monitoring, employers can better mitigate risk and head off avoidable accidents. Here are 5 things most employers don’t know (but should) about driver screening and monitoring.

Company drivers pose a big risk to their organizations.

Large transportation companies already know this. Companies outside the transportation industry may not be as aware of the risks that employees behind the wheel causes. According to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), motor vehicle crash injuries cost employers a whopping 47 billion dollars a year, with the average employer cost of an on-the-job crash with non-fatal injuries being $65,000.

Employing drivers is an ENORMOUS risk to companies. Just one distracted, intoxicated, or reckless driver can do irreparable damage to a company’s reputation and bottom line.

Pre-employment driver screening is great…but it shouldn’t stop there.

The popular answer for mitigating employee risk is “we do background checks”. That’s a wise decision. Checking a person’s criminal record, verifying their employment and education, and screening them for drugs DOES help decrease the chances of hiring someone who would cause workplace issues.

However, drivers need more than that. In addition to a thorough background check (which should include a motor vehicle records search), employers should also monitor them.

Why? Because a person who is hired with a spotless driving record may accrue speeding tickets, get distracted while driving, drive while under the influence, or let their license expire. An employer should never assume an employee will maintain pristine driving behavior just because their initial background check found no red flags.

Even non-DOT-regulated industries should screen and monitor their drivers.

There are most likely some drivers in your organization, whether you realize it or not. The lady who does the pre-meeting coffee run, the man who takes everyone to the airport, and the person who picks up lunch or makes a special client delivery are all technically drivers. Every one of these people poses just as much risk as a driver who operates a vehicle as their full-time job.

A big, and dangerous, assumption employers make is thinking that their 'sometimes', 'every-now-and-then', or 'almost-never' drivers can't impact the company by causing accidents or having negative things on their driving histories. That's just not true. To maintain a safe driving process and avoid accidents and lawsuits, these employees must be screened and monitored just like truck drivers and delivery people.

Information found in driver screening directly reduces a company’s risk.

It’s easy to believe that knowing about past driving issues and license expirations is good information to have, but it does little to protect a company from dealing with accidents and lawsuits. That’s not the case.

There are numerous pieces of evidence that show driver screening and monitoring impact a company in measurable ways. Consider these statistics:

  • 19% of all driving fatalities involve drivers with invalid licenses, which accounts for 7000 crashes per year.
  • A history of reckless, careless, inattentive, or negligent driving increases the likelihood of a crash by 64%.
  • Continuous driver monitoring reduces 22% of driving violations.

Using this data as a base, you can see that identifying drivers with expired licenses and those with histories of negligent driving will decrease your company’s risk of having an employee involved in a crash.

Technology is key to staying on top of driver monitoring.

Keeping your organization’s drivers properly monitored may sound like an overwhelming job that you don’t know how to find time for. The best news is that technology can make it an easy, seamless experience.

There are several types of driver monitoring technology solutions that:

  • Continuously monitor a driver’s license to track when it is up for renewal.
  • Manages required driver documentation.
  • Score drivers by the risk they pose.
  • Alert you when a new violation shows up on a driver’s record.

Automation facilitates driver monitoring by making it easy to get accurate updates, fast.

Employing drivers comes with intrinsic risks that can’t be ignored. By understanding the importance of screening and monitoring ALL drivers, companies can better manage their risks, avoid lawsuits, protect their reputations, and even lower their insurance premiums.

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