Delivery driving driving van

Driving for work policies: employers’ failures

Driving for work is statistically the most dangerous activity employees undertake. Up to a third of all road traffic incidents involve someone who is driving for work at the time – accounting for some 500 fatalities and almost 40,000 injuries a year. As a result, all reputable employers must have a driving for work policy that will stand up to scrutiny in the event of a crash.

The law requires all those who drive on the public highway to be adequately and appropriately insured. This means that any person driving, even occasionally in connection with their employer’s work, must be covered for ‘business use’.

Why companies need a driving for work policy

  • It is a legal requirement: the law says all companies must have policies and procedures to minimise risk – and that includes the recognised risks around driving. In the event of a serious incident, a company must be able to produce documentary proof that the organisation has taken reasonable steps to protect drivers and other road users.
  • It makes good business sense. Poorly managed drivers will cost companies more: higher insurance, increased servicing and maintenance costs, more speeding tickets and greater fuel use.
  • It is the right thing to do so that staff and other road users get home to their families safe and well at the end of each day.

What should be included to meet legal and compliance standards?

  • A statement explaining why the policy exists and why it is important that drivers follow it.
  • A section covering licence checks, medical conditions, driver competence and fitness to drive including impairment, fatigue and wellbeing.
  • A vehicle section including roadworthiness, loading, security, private use of vehicles and towing, if applicable.
  • A journey section including driving standards, use of mobile phones, dealing with fines and penalties, and what to do in the event of a collision or breakdown.
  • There’s no ‘one policy fits all fleets’. Users must check the policy wording and amend where necessary – for example to include transporting hazardous goods.


Getting driver buy-in to a driving for work policy

  • It must be realistic, consistently applied, and reinforced regularly.
  • Bring drivers in at an early stage: let them identify the risks in their journeys and how they might be avoided.
  • Drivers need to see how it benefits them, that it can be easily followed, and that other things won’t interfere with their ability to comply.
  • The rules apply to everyone in the business: directors as well as van drivers.
  • Reinforcing the policy, reviewing compliance, and demonstrating the benefits that have been achieved, will help ensure everyone understands its importance.


Driving for work policy: keeping it up to date

  • To be legally compliant, a policy needs to be up to date and reviewed regularly. The policy must be owned by a director or similar senior manager who has overall responsibility for creating, communicating and reviewing it, as well as monitoring compliance.


With the new, free, Driving for Work Policy Builder, launched last month by Driving for Better Business, companies can use a template to create a legally compliant document that can be adapted to their own needs and shared with all employees.