Companies that employ drivers can face legal liability if an employee causes an accident while on duty. Not only can this rack up legal bills for a business, but it can also increase insurance rates in the long run. The company’s reputation may also suffer. Checking the driving record of potential employees can help mitigate these issues.
Evaluating the Costs of Accidents
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that the average car accident can cost an employer nearly $20,000. If an employee is injured, the cost rises to almost $75,000. If the accident results in a fatality or punitive damages, the costs can range from $500,000 to a million dollars. The financial effects of legal fees, medical expenses and property damage can easily bankrupt a small company.
Lowering the Liability Odds
Reducing the risk of liability can be achieved by hiring the right person. Checking the pre-employment driving record of a potential employee will alert a business to any possible issues. A clean driving record doesn’t mean an accident won’t ever happen, but it does indicate that a candidate is responsible. If the potential employee uses the same care he or she has in the past, the likelihood of avoiding accidents in the future is high.
Assessing Records Available to Employers
A business that hires drivers can request a motor vehicle record to screen a potential employee’s driving history. This background check varies by state but typically includes the number, class and status of the driver’s license. It will also show if there have been any suspensions or revocations in the past as well as any crimes committed with a vehicle, including convictions for driving under the influence. A motor vehicle record will also show traffic citations, accident reports, unpaid tickets and lapses in insurance coverage.
Although nothing is foolproof, finding the most reliable candidate to drive for your business will greatly reduce your liability. A lengthy driving record showing responsible behavior is the best indicator. The time and effort spent screening candidates will pay off in the long run.