white nonemergency vehicleOperating a non-emergency medical vehicle involves a fair degree of risk. Drivers might transport patients or carry thousands of dollars-worth of sensitive materials. An accident or other damaging occurrence might prove very costly. Therefore, it's up to such drivers to work with the highest professionalism. Whether you are a driver, or simply oversee operations, always encourage safe driving. What are some of the ways you can do so? When hiring drivers for these unique positions, establish a process of oversight. Four steps - vetting, training, insuring and tracking - could help improve the driver's behind-the-wheel risks. Let's take a look at why lower driving risks matter.

The Importance of Having Safe Drivers Behind You

Medical vehicle operators have to keep safety in mind. If you don't follow the rules of the road, use a safe vehicle or keep it in good shape, your risks of accidents might go up.
  • You might face personal losses in case of injuries, vehicle damage or a loss of possessions.
  • Your passengers might sustain injuries, or your cargo might sustain damage. In either case, you might have to foot the bill for the losses.
  • Your transport business might also face challenges. Harmful accidents will likely cost a lot of money. Lawsuits and other damage might drive up commercial strain.
If this is your business, consider some of the ways you can oversee your drivers to keep risks low.

Vet Potential Hires

If you hire or manage drivers, you have a duty to make sure that those drivers operate responsibly. You don't want to allow just anyone to become a driver. You'll need a comprehensive hiring process to ensure that drivers are up to the rules of the game.
  • Carefully review the applicant's previous driving record. If they have any wrecks, DUI charges or speeding tickets in their pasts, they might not be the right fit. Most companies require applicants to have clean records for at least several years prior to applying.
  • Ensure that drivers have the right qualifications to operate the vehicle in question. An active, valid license without restrictions, and with proper endorsements, often are necessary.
  • Complete a background check on the applicant. If they have a criminal record or other red flags in their pasts, then they might not be the best person to hire.
Everyone should receive a fair evaluation. Apply the same vetting to each potential driver who walks through your doors.

Train New Operators

Even after hiring a driver, you need to give them time to adjust. Every job will require different tasks. Ensure each operator receives appropriate training.
  • Make sure drivers know how to operate the vehicles. Certain large or specialty vehicles require special driving techniques.
  • Guarantee that drivers can operate any necessary medical equipment within the vehicle. Remember, some vehicles might have special mechanics, like radio monitors or wheelchair ramps.
  • All drivers must understand the ins and outs of customer service. They should know how to respond to customer inquiries and immediate needs. Don't forget to enforce a simple baseline of friendly courtesy and helpfulness.
During training, you should probably require a probational operating period. You might require heavy reporting and tracking of new drivers to ensure they can pass muster.

Insure the Vehicle and Operator

The vehicles in your possession will need auto insurance, uniquely, commercial coverage. You'll be able to cover the losses you and others might sustain after a sudden vehicle mishap. Some of the policy elements you might need to carry include:
  • Physical damage insurance: You'll often need this coverage to pay for vehicle repairs following a wreck or other damaging accident.
  • Auto Liability coverage: In case you cause a wreck or other accident, third parties might hold you responsible for their injuries. This coverage can help pay for their property damage or medical bills.
  • Inland Marine insurance: This coverage extends to physical items in transport. If you carry expensive medical equipment, this coverage might prove necessary.
You'll often need other types of coverage. These might include things like general liability and even workers' compensation insurance. Talk to your commercial insurer about the proper way to assemble a package of coverage. The more your risks, the more protection you might need.

Keep Tabs on Drivers

Once drivers hit the road, keep an eye on them. You'll need to enforce practices on the road that keep operators safely in line.
  • Drivers should keep a log or record of all their transports. They should report any problems to the company immediately.
  • Consider installing extra security devices on the vehicles. For example, you might need to install a speed monitor or GPS tracker. These devices might help reduce damage risks or theft risks for those behind the wheel. It might also enforce a better degree of accountability.
Make sure your drivers also have proof of auto insurance with them all the time. They should know how to call for help and provide policy documents as soon as an accident occurs. With the right care, you can give drivers the right training and equipment to make their jobs successful. Call Budget Insurance Agency at (855) 218-6308 for more information on commercial auto insurance!
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