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Is your ministry road ready?

They will shuttle children to camp, drive teenagers to concerts and take adults on mission trips. The summer months are busy times for volunteer drivers. We know that you have already run the necessary background checks on all your volunteers, and the church risk management experts at Brotherhood Mutual suggest additional safety screening for all prospective drivers to be certain they're up to the challenge.

Here are a few tips to help ensure safe summer travels:

Screen your drivers

  1. Proper licensing: Most states require a commercial driver's license (CDL) for driving buses and large vans; check with your local agencies to see what's required in your state.
  2. Age: Carefully consider the age of potential drivers. Those younger than 21 and older than 65 pose a considerably greater risk for auto accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Young drivers, regardless of maturity, lack behind-the-wheel experience. Older drivers may have slow reaction times and visual impairments.
  3. Experience and training: Select drivers with as much experience as possible. Provide training to allow them to be comfortable driving a larger vehicle such as a van or a bus.
  4. Safety record: Obtain candidates' driving records. Choose people with records free of reckless driving citations or multiple moving violations. It's important to properly screen drivers because your ministry could be judged negligent for allowing someone with a poor driving record to operate a vehicle.

Brotherhood offers this free driver screening application to help you get started.

Know your vehicles

  1. Check your auto insurance: Auto insurance is one issue that is often overlooked when a staff member or volunteer uses his or her own vehicle to transport passengers. Too frequently, staff members or volunteers incorrectly assume their personal auto liability insurance policy will cover them. If staff members or volunteers plan to use their personal vehicles to transport ministry passengers, require them to contact their insurance agent to determine if their personal policy will provide coverage.
  2. Use the right vehicle: Consider the physical limitations of passengers and make sure the vehicle is easily accessible and will safely accommodate everyone.
  3. Keep them safe: Perform all the necessary maintenance to help spot and prevent mechanical issues.

Learn more about keeping your vehicles safe here.