Fully vet your drivers
A. It is widely known in the risk management field that motor vehicle reports (MVRs), which detail a driver's past performance, are a useful means of predicting future driving performance. This has been dramatically demonstrated in several studies, which indicate that in 41% of the total crashes, the driver had a poor driving record. In a lawsuit, the driver's record may be discoverable and admissible. A poor driving history makes defense decidedly more difficult.
In addition, there are more and more findings of "negligent hiring" by juries against companies which have employed drivers with poor driving records or records which indicate a flagrant disregard for traffic laws. This finding almost assuredly increases monetary awards and in many cases has resulted in punitive damages that are not covered by insurance in most states.
Drivers with poor records certainly can and have reformed. Taking a class, placing the driver on probation, and other immediate tactics do not guarantee positive results and have not historically had a high rate of success.
Drivers need to drive defensively and within the limits of the law, and do so consistently over a period of time.
Maintaining drivers with good driving records is good for business and may be one of the most important things your company can do for itself as well as the public. Remember, it only takes one collision involving a driver with a poor record to tarnish your company's reputation and potentially devastate your business.
Bill Tricarico is director of loss control at McNeil & Company. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-822-3747 ext. 127.