Best Practices for Hiring Truck Drivers to Reduce 18 Wheeler Accidents

One of the best ways for a trucking company to minimize its risk of liability is by having a clear hiring process in place. After all, a company’s safety record rests almost entirely on the shoulders of the drivers it hires. Without carefully vetting potential hires and following a strict hiring procedure, a trucking company can easily hire drivers with blemished records and too little experience. By investing time and effort into the hiring process, these risks can be minimized to a significant degree. When a clear hiring process is established and followed to the letter, a company demonstrates its commitment to safety. Establish a Hiring Process A trucking company’s hiring process should not be a vague concept that is loosely followed. Instead, it should be clearly documented and carried out for each and every prospective employee. This step alone is one of the best ways to avoid 18 wheeler accidents. No trucking company wants to have to deal with an 18 wheeler accident attorney claim for traffic accident injuries due to their inexperienced truck driver, and hiring safe, experienced drivers is one of the best ways to reduce that risk. The hiring process should outline the company’s requirements and clearly list state and federal regulations concerning employment. It is also crucial to adhere to DOT regulations. Many trucking companies think such regulations do not apply to them, and they run afoul of them without even realizing it. The Importance of MVRs One of the biggest mistakes a trucking company can make is to not check the driving history report (MVR) of a potential employee. Some companies just get lazy about this step while others feel that the cost just is not justified. In reality, MVRs are very inexpensive. In the long run, they can save a company huge amounts of money. Simply being able to avoid an accident claim filed against the company by a truck accident attorney should more than justify the extra expense. These records will reveal a driver’s violations and other problems. As a general rule of thumb, companies should only hire drivers whose records have been clean for at least three years. Drug Tests, Credit Checks and More As important as it is to check a driver’s MVR, it is not the only step. The more thorough a trucking company is with hiring drivers, the less likely it is to hire unsafe drivers. For that reason, it is well worth it to perform pre-employment drug tests. Periodically performing them after a truck driver has been hired is also a good idea. Some companies perform credit checks because potential employees with major financial problems could be risky propositions. Another option is to obtain approval from an insurance carrier prior to hiring a driver. Perform Thorough Interviews All too often, trucking companies are careful about vetting potential employees and then perform very basic interviews. Just because a driver passes background checks with flying colors does not mean they are good fit. A carefully conducted interview can reveal a lot about a driver. At the beginning of the interview, the interviewer should let the potential employee know what will be covered. The interviewee should also be told about the company’s commitment to safety. Open-ended questions should be posed to the driver, and they should focus on their driving record, past violations and similar topics. There is no surefire way to strictly hire safe drivers. With a thorough hiring process, however, a trucking company can significantly reduce its risk of hiring drivers who will increase its risk of liability. There is also the added bonus of hiring drivers who will actually do good work and stick with the company for the long haul. Investing time, money and effort into the hiring process pays off in a number of ways, but the most important one of all is that it helps trucking companies put safety first.