INTREPID BLOG

Buckle Up for Success: Prioritizing Seat Belt Usage for Delivery Drivers

In the fast-paced world of delivery services, time is often of the essence. The few seconds required for a driver to buckle and unbuckle their seatbelt pays off by reducing injuries and the associated time lost, as well as the costs associated with workers’ compensation claims.
Image of a delivery driver inside of their vehicle, putting their seatbelt on while the vehicle is stopped.

This article explores some of the reasons why making seat belt use mandatory for delivery drivers should be a non-negotiable for every business owner.

 

Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset

Whether you’re delivering your own product or someone else’s package, delivery drivers are the lifeblood of your business. Keeping your drivers and their vehicles healthy and on the road is a huge element of overall productivity. Just one extra day lost from work due to an accident could never be recouped by saving a few seconds here and there with unbuckled driving.

So, let’s start with the common excuses drivers use when they try to justify unbelted driving.

I’m just going a few blocks on low-speed limit streets.

Most accidents happen on roads with speed limits of 40mph or less. Some fatal accidents have occurred at speeds less than 20mph. While your drivers are very experienced navigating your delivery area and have hundreds of hours of experience on the road every month, some other driver might be distracted and cause an accident. The seat belt is the best way to keep your driver from suffering an unnecessarily serious injury.

 

Seatbelts are uncomfortable.

Today’s seatbelts are designed to allow users a good deal of freedom, only locking up when necessary, and are adjustable to fit every size person. Moreover, there’s no reason for a driver to remove a seatbelt while en route – getting something they cannot reach while buckled is a dangerous distraction, plus, since they are stopping relatively frequently to make deliveries, they can wait to be at a stopping point before unbuckling for any reason.

 

My car has air bags.

Air bags and seat belts are a safety tandem – they are designed to work together. If the air bags deploy while an unrestrained driver is moving forward, there is a much greater chance of injury from the force of the air bags.

 

Bottom line — When an accident involving your employee occurs, it can ripple through your company. Consider the consequences:

    • Lost Productivity: Accidents involving your drivers lead to work absences, impacting deliveries and customer satisfaction.
    • Increased Costs: Medical bills, vehicle repairs, and potential lawsuits can put a strain on your finances.
    • Damaged Reputation: Accidents involving an unbelted employee can negatively impact your brand image and customer trust.
    • Employee Turnover: Accidents and a lax safety culture can lead to disgruntled employees and higher turnover rates.

 

Legal Obligations and Liability

Beyond the ethical imperative, there are also legal obligations that mandate seat belt usage for drivers. Nearly every state requires front seat occupants to wear seatbelts. Ensuring compliance will help steer your business and your drivers clear of any legal troubles caused by driving unbelted.

Also, most vehicles are now equipped with an Event Data Recorder (“EDR”), sometimes called a “black box.” An EDR captures certain data points when there’s an accident, sometimes including seat belt usage. In other words, if your employee is in an accident, the vehicle’s EDR may have data proving whether the seatbelt was used. That could mean a ticket for your driver, or, in some states, it could limit the amount of money a driver can recover if the other driver is found to be at fault for the accident.

By implementing and enforcing seat belt policies, you not only fulfill your legal obligations but also mitigate the financial costs associated with accidents. Proactive measures in this regard not only protect your employees but also safeguard the financial stability and reputation of your business.

 

Setting the Standard: Cultivating a Safety Culture

By prioritizing safety and emphasizing the importance of seat belt usage, you instill a culture of responsibility, safety, and accountability among your employees. This extends beyond mere compliance with regulations; it fosters a collective mindset that values the well-being of all team members.

Incorporating safety awareness into regular training sessions and company communications reinforces the message that seat belt usage is not negotiable – it’s a fundamental aspect of the company’s values and culture of safety.

Investing in comprehensive safety training and enforcing seat belt usage policies not only demonstrates your commitment to their welfare but also safeguards your most valuable asset – your workforce.

 

Conclusion

Seat belt use may seem like a minor detail, but its impact on your business and your employees’ lives is far-reaching. Buckle up for success, not just for the sake of regulations, but for the well-being of your business and its most valuable asset – your people.

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