For many PRISM members, driving is an essential part of successful daily operations. However, there is an inherent liability risk any time an employee operates a vehicle on behalf of their employer. Public entities have vicarious liability for their employee’s actions while operating vehicles on their behalf. This means that the entity itself can be held liable because of the legal relationship between employee and employer, even if the entity did not cause the injury.
In order to help prevent injuries arising from vehicle operations, it is important to have in place and enforce an effective Fleet Management program. As with any other safety management program, it is essential that the Fleet Management program be a written document that is periodically reviewed and updated as necessary. PRISM Risk Control has created a Risk Simplified which outlines some of the best practices to consider when creating a Fleet Management program. Along with the information in the Risk Simplified, consider adding language for the use of rental cars into your Fleet Management program. Every employee who drives on behalf of the entity should be identified so that the program’s expectations can be communicated everyone involved.
Any entity facing this type of liability exposure through employee operation of vehicles should take the time to create a strong Fleet Management program that promotes safety in every aspect. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to PRISM’s Risk Control department.