Car Accident PreventionThis information is provided for car accident prevention with permission from Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Accident Prevention

How to Prevent Vehicle-Related Losses
According to accident data, the following accident types are the most likely to result in higher dollar losses and injury: Hit Other in Rear, Intersection, Head-On Collision, and Pedestrian. Together, these accident types account for approximately 32% of all vehicle accidents, 52% of fatal vehicle accidents, and 60% of vehicle accident costs.

The pie chart illustrates the relative frequency with which these high-severity accident types occur.

By answering the following questions, you can determine what improvements may be needed in your transportation safety program to help reduce the likelihood of these and other vehicle accidents.

Management Support

  • Has a member of management been assigned fleet safety responsibility?
  • Has the individual received any formal fleet safety training?

Driver Qualification

  • Are there written guidelines on driver qualification?
  • Are all drivers included in the driver qualification program?
  • Is there a company policy on minimum age for driving company vehicles?
  • Do all current drivers meet the age limit?
  • Does the job application ask about prior driving experience?
  • Does the job application ask about prior accidents and moving violations?
  • Do you make a visual check of the job applicant’s driver’s license?
  • Do you make a visual check of an employee’s driver’s license before allowing him/her to drive a company vehicle?
  • Is the license the correct type for the type vehicle being driven?
  • Is there a system for recording driver’s license numbers and expiration dates, and following up with drivers to ensure timely license renewal?
  • Do you obtain a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) prior to an individual being allowed to drive at hire?
  • Are there written standards that define an acceptable MVR?
  • Do you obtain and review MVRs on all drivers yearly?

Driver Training

  • Are applicants given a road test over a pre-planned route?

Vehicle Maintenance

  • Are the vehicles in proper operating condition at all times?
  • Do drivers complete vehicle defect reports?
  • Is there documentation of vehicle maintenance?

Accident Reporting and Review

  • Do drivers know what to do in case of an accident?
  • Are there accident report kits in each vehicle?
  • Are all accidents investigated?
  • Is there a log or register maintained for all vehicle accidents?
  • Does someone review the register or log at least once a year to identify any patterns, trends, or drivers with more than one accident?

Controls

Management Support

  • The safety program must have the support and backing of top management and employees must be aware and confident of this support.
  • A written policy statement should be developed and communicated to all employees. At a minimum, it should state management’s expectations for:
    • Safe vehicle operation,
    • Use of belt restraints, and
    • No alcohol or controlled substance use prior to or during vehicle operation.

Driver Selection

  • The following tools can help you determine whether the applicant is a safe and competent driver:
    • An application form that provides information on driving experience, accidents, and violations;
    • A visual check of the applicant’s driver’s license;
    • An MVR of the accident and violation records;
    • A road test using the type of vehicle the applicant will operate.
  • Make a visual check of the driver’s license before allowing any employee to drive a company vehicle if s/he is not assigned to that vehicle.

Driver Training

  • Provide an initial road test or check ride at time of hire to verify that the applicant can drive the type vehicle being assigned.
  • Incorporate Decision Driving™ topics into tool box/tailgate safety meetings.

Preventive Maintenance

  • Vehicles should be inspected and maintained regularly in your own shop, outside garage facilities, or in the case of leased vehicles, by the leasing company.
  • Establish inspection/maintenance intervals using your vehicle owner’s manual, suggested intervals from outside facilities, your own experience, etc.
  • Have each driver do a daily inspection by means of a brief walk around the vehicle.
  • Develop a system for reporting defects to ensure repair before breakdowns occur. For best results, use a written defect-report system.

Accident Reporting

  • Instruct drivers to report accidents immediately and correctly.
  • Make accident report forms available to your drivers.
  • Train them how to complete the forms and to whom they should submit the reports.
  • Maintain records of all accidents, either through copies of the reports themselves, accident logs, or accident registers.
  • Review accidents with the drivers involved.
  • Analyze your accidents periodically to identify causes and trends so that effective controls can be developed.

Contact Liberty Mutual Insurance or your agent for information on developing a fleet safety program for your specific needs.