Post written by Cynthia Roberts-Tamm
A courtesy shuttle is an amenity welcomed by your guests. If fact, some may even consider it a requirement when they select their hotel. Be it a luxury or a necessity, the operation of a courtesy shuttle demands your due diligence to ensure the safety of your guests and employees, and to reduce the potential for injury.
Accidents involving a courtesy shuttle reflect negatively on your operation, whether or not an injury results. A single accident can cost you a repeat customer or new business.
Negative implications following a shuttle incident may include:
- Passenger lawsuits
- Physical damage (to your vehicle and other vehicles or property involved)
- Damages to passenger personal property, such as luggage
- Loss of vehicle use
- Employee injury
- Impact of brand / flag standards or franchise license
By proactively anticipating hazards and guarding against common dangers, you can reduce the potential for loss associated with the operation of your courtesy shuttle. Below are 6 ways to prevent accidents.
1. Carefully Select Employees to Operate the Vehicle.
- Review motor vehicle records and applicable driver’s license endorsements.
- Evaluate prior experience.
- Conduct a pre-employment skills assessment, also know as a road test.
2. Enforce Safety-Focused Management Policies.
- Develop a fleet safety program.
- Review driving procedures.
- Conduct driver training.
- Establish supervision for drivers.
- Enforce your distracted driver policy.
- Institute a defensive driver awareness program.
- Understand loading and unloading procedures.
3. Facilitate Route Management.
- Determine maximum travel radius.
- Plan routes commonly used and ensure drivers know common hazards.
- Establish and enforce hours of operation.
4. Oversee Vehicle Maintenance.
- Follow manufacturer’s recommended service schedule.
- Keep a vehicle file to document all service.
5. Conduct Vehicle Inspections Before and After Trips.
- Assess physical condition of the vehicle.
- Check to see that seatbelts are accessible and in working order.
- Ensure lights and signals are in working order.
- Ensure glass and mirrors are in good condition, and are also clean with no breaks.
- Check to see that all doors are fully functional.
- Require employees to adjust mirrors before they start the vehicle.
- Make sure all passengers are buckled in before moving the vehicle.
6. Control Slip and Fall Exposures.
- Inspect the flooring and steps to the vehicle. If needed, provide a step stool of the appropriate type for entry and exit.
- Ensure any lifts are in working order for ADA compliance.
Operating a courtesy shuttle can give you a big advantage over your competitors; however, the operation of the shuttle must be safe, efficient and comfortable for your guests. You are hauling precious cargo!
For more information regarding safe driving and fleet management, contact your local Risk Control representative.