College-owned vehicle driver safety is an issue universities and colleges across the country should take seriously. With a fleet of vehicles used by employees and students in an environment with many inexperienced drivers and distracted pedestrians, academic institutions that offer driver training can create a safer campus and reduce their liability risk for off campus driving.
Some colleges and universities now make driver safety training, offered by outside experts, mandatory for employees who drive college-owned vehicles. As with teen driving, they want to put training into the hands of those with a proven track record of improving behind-the-wheel performance.
Why Use Driving Training for College Employees?
Motor vehicle accidents on college campuses are one of the leading causes of injury and death for college students. That unfortunate fact is the result of a campus environment where many young, inexperienced drivers are behind the wheel.
Some institutions take the step of requiring everyone who drives on campus, both students and those employees who drive college-owned vehicles, to file information with the college that shows they have an acceptable Motor Vehicle Record (MVR). This is a requirement to obtain a permit for driving on campus.
Others have also incorporated college-owned vehicle driver safety training into their school policies governing use of fleet vehicles. An example of this comes from Muskingum University in Ohio.
How Colleges Implement Driver Safety Training
At Muskingum, a liberal arts college in Ohio, all drivers of college-owned vehicles take a five-hour defensive driving course. The course is part of the school’s safety policy and is a requirement to drive a college-owned vehicle.
The university also sets minimum requirements to become an approved driver of a college-owned vehicle. Drivers must possess a valid driver's license and have no more than two minor moving traffic violations within a 36-month period. Drivers also cannot have a major violation, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless operation, driving under suspension, or fleeing from a police officer.
University officials at schools around the country have enacted similar policies.
What Driver Safety Training Offers
DrivActiv from Driving Dynamics provides an example of a high-quality online driver safety program that can benefit university officials who make driver safety a priority for the school’s fleet of vehicles. It includes 70-plus lessons on important driving skills and micro learnings for drivers who operate passenger vehicles through heavy-duty trucks.
Topics addressed by the DrivActiv online library include advanced vehicle control skills, improved hazard perception and objective self-assessment to help drivers better manage risk-taking behaviors. They also include distracted driver training videos.
Driving Dynamics bases lessons offered through DrivActiv on research into the causes of more than 200,000 crashes and collisions. The DrivActiv system also offers:
- Lessons in English, American Spanish, Canadian French
- Micro Learning to support safety campaigns
- Mobile-device ready lessons
- Lessons compliant with Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) Standards
For colleges and universities, focusing on college-owned vehicle driver safety is an investment in a safer campus and better risk management. Both online and in-person driver training are proven, effective strategies to accomplish both of those goals.