Last updated: October 2, 2023
Some employers have no need of checking employee driving records because their employees stay on-site throughout their shifts. Those who employ the safety-sensitive workforce are mandated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to complete a Driver Safety Performance History on every potential new hire.
The history includes obtaining driving records from every state in which the applicant has been employed as a driver. DOT regulations are in place in an effort to keep the highways safe for travel. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created an entire website dedicated to tracking all driver drug and alcohol-based infractions. The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse website launched in January 2020 and has achieved great success.
What about employers who have employees that travel from one location to another for various reasons that pertain to their jobs though? Is there a need to check employee driving records on everyone who gets behind the wheel of a company vehicle?
In short, that answer is yes.
It’s good insurance all around
Operating a company vehicle is a huge responsibility. There are three main reasons that employers want to hire people with stellar driving reputations.
Let’s take a look at them.
Insurance costs less
When a company hires employees who have good driving records, they pay lower insurance rates. It’s better not to take someone’s word for it though. Someone who has vowed to “start fresh” might be tempted to “put the past behind them” and not be upfront. Checking out their driving history is going to save you the surprise of the insurance company suddenly bumping your rates somewhere down the road.
The truth always has a way of coming out eventually.
Better safe than sorry
If an employee causes an accident, it could put the business in the middle of a costly lawsuit. Small business owners, especially, could find themselves suffering financial hardship rather quickly if that happens.
Not being able to afford day-to-day expenses due to paying lawyer’s fees isn’t ever a position that you want to find yourself in.
When word gets out
If someone working for your company causes a serious accident, it could damage the entire company’s reputation.
Again, larger companies may better handle the impact of negative publicity, but someone running a small community-oriented business who depends totally on word of mouth for advertisement could suffer substantially. Negative publicity could prove fatal to the growth of the business.
A smooth road ahead
Checking out employee driving records for potential new hires is beneficial because it allows you to identify someone who has a history of reckless or unsafe driving. It’s a good idea to follow the DOT’s lead and look at employee driving records from each state where the applicant has obtained a driver’s license.
It’s possible to obtain the information on your own, but working with a company that requests them on a regular basis could get you your results faster. Moreover, in the case of investigating someone who has lived or worked in multiple states, it may get frustrating at times. However, if you’re pursuing the employee driving records on your own, press on.
The motor vehicle report is an important document to have in your possession. It reveals whether a person’s license is active or inactive, any driving restrictions, endorsements, and any accumulated driving violations. That means you’ll learn of any history of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol too.
If you plan to hire someone who may, at some point, be driving a company vehicle, check their driving history. You’ll be checking out their honesty because some applicants may attempt to hide things that happened in the past.
Your insurance rates hinge on an employee’s driving history. You want to keep them as low as possible! You’re going to lessen the risk of someone causing an accident “down the road” as well. That decreases the odds that you’ll wind up in the middle of a court case that could be detrimental to your company’s reputation.
Most of all, anyone traveling on the road is going to be safer because you took the time to ensure you hired someone who is responsible on the road.