The Good Steward

August 2020

Safe Driving Checklist

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, many religious organizations still are running activities that involve driving. You may, for example, sponsor a brigade of volunteers who grocery shop for vulnerable members of your community.

Having safe and reliable transportation, with responsible drivers, is important at any time.

Anyone who drives a religious organization’s vehicle, rents a vehicle for your organization’s business, or even uses his or her own vehicle for church-sponsored activities should follow the applicable guidelines on this checklist:

  • Drivers should be between the ages of 25 and 70.
  • Conduct background checks on all drivers. Praesidium offers discounted background checks to Episcopal institutions. It can be reached at (817) 801-7773.
  • Use two or more drivers on long trips in order to avoid fatigue.
  • In addition to the driver, make sure there is an adult responsible for supervising children.
  • Complete a vehicle inspection checklist before all church-sponsored trips to ensure that everything is operational:
    • headlights and brake lights
    • blinkers
    • tires
    • oil
    • battery connections
    • engine belts
    • fluid levels and absence of any leaks
  • Determine maximum allowable speeds for drivers.
  • Cancel trips when driving hazards such as fog, high winds, heavy rains, or severe weather conditions exist.
  • Ask that drivers of personal vehicles for church business show proof of auto insurance.
  • If renting a car, consider purchasing additional liability coverage from the rental agency.
  • Require drivers to leave behind an itinerary, including the route, expected time of travel, and contact numbers.

Equip any organization’s vehicle with a fire extinguisher and first aid kit, as well as an emergency kit, which includes items such as kitty litter (to gain traction on ice), a shovel, and emergency flares.

Periodic Check-Ins

Check in with your religious organization’s drivers to make sure they’re aware of and meet the guidelines, even if they have been working with you for a long time. It’s a good idea to remind drivers of the checklist and check-in requirements on an annual basis and to print or otherwise distribute a vehicle inspection checklist to be completed before long trips. If a vehicle has not been driven in a significant amount of time, a visual inspection is especially necessary.

If you have questions about your organization’s Auto Liability Insurance, contact your Church Insurance representative.