Even though there are strict laws and regulations against it, many drivers still drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Doing so is dangerous because these substances make drivers incapable of driving safely. Drugs and alcohol impair judgment, reaction time, coordination, and self-control, all required to drive safely.
Many businesses own at least one vehicle with a driver assigned to it. As a business owner, you should ensure your drivers do not drive under the influence for several important reasons.
Increased Risk of Accidents
Due to how drugs and alcohol affect the body, drivers under the influence are more likely to get into accidents. That could be because they may be unable to control the vehicle, react to what is happening around them, pay attention to other road users, or remain alert and awake.
The devastation caused by such accidents depends on various factors, including:
- How fast the vehicle was going.
- The type and weight of the vehicle.
- Whether it struck a passenger or other vehicle.
- The relative positions of the vehicles when the accident happened.
Legal Repercussions and Liability
When a driver gets into an accident, they could be liable if they are found to have caused it. When they are, they could be charged in criminal court, the victims could sue for compensation, and the family members of those who died could sue for wrongful death.
What you might not realize is that your business could also be liable. This could happen if it is proven that you did not do regular drug tests, hired a driver with multiple DUIs, or ignored a driver’s struggles with alcohol and substance abuse.
For these reasons, you should hire professionals who will do regular drug testing on your job site to ensure your drivers never get on the road while under the influence.
Apart from the cost of the lives lost or forever changed by an accident, there are other costs associated with business vehicle accidents. The most obvious one is property damage.
It is very unlikely that a driver gets into an accident and the vehicle does not require repairs or some downtime. The repairs will cost you money directly, while the downtime will lead to a loss of productivity and cost you money indirectly.
The other is insurance costs. Your insurance premiums will increase if your drivers get into accidents frequently, regardless of the severity. Insurance companies want to ensure clean driver records to decrease the amount they pay after accidents.
Accidents Impact Reputation and Brand Images
Companies with a strong commitment to safety and responsible behavior and have an excellent record of both have a positive reputation among clients, customers, and the public. Vehicle accidents involving business vehicles can lead to the erosion of trust and complete or partial damage to a business’s reputation. An accident can also lead to a loss of business opportunities. Think of a logistics business whose drivers get into accidents frequently.
Beyond their legal obligations, there are many other reasons why businesses should ensure their drivers are not under the influence while on the road. There are consequences for driving under the influence, with businesses having to deal with the losses and legal repercussions following an accident involving a driver who was under the influence at the time.