Utilizing volunteers to provide transportation for clients can be an invaluable addition to your organization’s services. At the same time, you want to minimize the risk both you and your volunteers face. Laying a solid framework for volunteer transportation and following some basic safety procedures can go a long way to help.
1. Establish Screening Procedures
All volunteer drivers should go through a rigorous screening process. This may include background, credit, and driving record checks. You may also want to require drivers to undergo safety training and defensive driving courses to minimize their chances of experiencing an accident.
2. Verify Vehicle Safety and Suitability
Your clients’ safety and wellbeing are paramount, and you want to ensure that they are getting in and out of vehicles that are safe, well maintained, and appropriate for their mobility level. That might exclude low sports-type cars or taller SUVs and trucks.
3. Maintain Proper Insurance Coverage
Both you and your volunteers should carry adequate insurance coverage so you are protected in the event of an accident or injury. Industry leader VIS Volunteers recommends maintaining a dedicated risk policy to cover volunteer transportation services.
Any time transportation is provided to clients, you will be facing risks. Having a concrete transportation volunteer risk management policy in place to minimize them is a wise and sensible business practice.