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Driver Vetting and Induction Procedures Introduction - Employing a New Driver

What you should know

Introduction

Aviva shares a common aim with its fleet customers to reduce risk and consequent claims spend. Research, including Aviva's own statistics, consistently confirms that the lowest accident rates are displayed by companies with clear driving standards and unambiguous driving rules, including effective driver vetting procedures.

Why Carry Out Driver Vetting?

  • On the UK's road network, 10 people are killed and around 1,000 others are injured every day
  • Nearly 33% of all fatalities involve the use of a company vehicle, whether it is a car, motor bike, van or commercial vehicle
  • 33% of all large motor vehicle insurance claims involve drivers who have been employed for less than 12 months, regardless of age or driving experience
  • Over 65% of all company vehicles will be involved in a road accident in the next 12 months

The above facts make for gruesome reading but sadly, are very true. Road accidents touch every level of society, every level of responsibility and virtually every fleet operator in the world.

There are both human and financial costs to road accidents for businesses. Medical treatment, compensation, business interruption and ‘bent metal' costs must all be paid for. If the root causes of accidents are left unchecked, the result will be higher operating costs for the business.

As employers you have a legal and moral obligation to ensure the safety of your employees and others, who may be affected by their driving at work activities. This is in addition to existing legal obligations under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

Companies running commercial vehicles under the terms of an ‘Operators Licence' must also comply with any other specific requirements imposed by their individual ‘Operators Licence'.

Employers are also "vicariously liable" for harm caused through the negligence of employees / operatives in the course of their driving duties.

"If they are doing something for you and about their duties (including driving a company vehicle), you are responsible - even if they are behaving totally improperly and against your orders" (Greville Janner. Q.C.)

 Other legal frameworks which cover the provision and use of company vehicles include:

  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work (MHSW) Regulations 1992, regulation 11
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 (SI 1992 No. 2932)
  • UK Road Traffic Act - 1998 (Section 41 and 42)

Employers, from the driver's supervisor right up to directors of the company, can be liable for charges of ‘Corporate Manslaughter' if an accident results in loss of life. In order for this charge to apply, it must be proved that the accident resulted from a lack of ‘duty of care' or a failure to comply with any of the legislation listed. Fines imposed on the guilty parties can be unlimited, with prison sentences of up to 10 years.

So what can you do?

As fleet operators you need to have a clear and concise policy on the vetting of drivers and control of your fleet. There are six main areas which should be adequately addressed to meet your obligations.

These have been consolidated into the following detailed sections which together culminate into one complete document headed ‘New Driver Vetting and Induction'.

Useful Motor Risk Templates are available for you to download free of charge - visit our  Tools and Templates  section.

For more information on useful products and services to help you manage your vehicles and drivers view our Preferred Suppliers

For more information on Aviva Risk Solutions, please call 0345 366 6666 or email us at riskadvice@aviva.com

Please Note
This document contains general information and guidance and is not and should not be relied on as specific advice. The document may not cover every risk, exposure or hazard that may arise and Aviva recommend that you obtain specific advice relevant to the circumstances. AVIVA accepts no responsibility or liability towards any person who may rely upon this document.

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