Youthful Drivers...Is Your Company Exposed? - Engine Builder Magazine

Youthful Drivers…Is Your Company Exposed?

FACT: In 2006, the latest year for which data are available, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death among 13-19 year-old males and females in the United States. Thirty-three percent of deaths among 13-19 year-olds occurred in motor vehicle crashes, 39 percent among females and 31 percent among males.

What is a youthful driver? Although opinions may vary, most rental car and insurance companies consider anyone under the age of 25 as “youthful.” If a 24 year-old is considered a “youthful” driver, then what is a 17 or 18 year-old? Are you planning to provide a youthful family member with a car? Do you have employees under the age of 25? Do they drive company vehicles for business purposes? What if they do? Remember that because your business owns the vehicle, you are vicariously liable for any damage a youthful, inexperienced driver may cause.

Basic precautions

• All employees must be prohibited from using cell phones or other hand-held electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.  “Texting” and talking on a cell phone have been proven to be a major contributor to inattentiveness while driving that results in vehicle accidents.

• Refrain from hiring “youthful” or inexperienced drivers; older/mature adults are best for positions requiring extensive driving.

• Verify that every applicant (and employee) has a current driver’s license; never assume they have a valid license.

•  Review the MVR (Motor Vehicle Record) of prospective employees and establish strict criteria for what constitutes an  acceptable driving record. (Absolute compliance with all applicable laws, including but not limited to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, is required.)


NOTE: Youthful drivers have not had suf?cient time to build a Motor Vehicle Record; do not place too much emphasis on their MVR, especially a completely “clear” report.

•  Require annual reviews of motor vehicle records to monitor employee driving habits.

•  If youthful drivers must be hired, require them to sign a waiver authorizing background checks to verify they have successfully participated in drivers’ education course.

•  Prohibit youthful drivers from operating vehicles off-premises.

•  High performance vehicles may tempt youthful drivers to fully test the car’s capabilities, only trusted employees should be allowed to operate these vehicles.

•  Seat belt use must be mandatory.

• Take a few minutes to educate new employees on:

   – Basic orientation for all business vehicles-controls, instruments and safety equipment.

     • Defensive driving techniques such as the two-second rule and scanning techniques.

     • Accident reporting procedures.

     • Maintain at least 1/4 tank of gas in the vehicle at all times.

•  Owners should insure youthful family members with a personal auto policy; it is not good business practice to unnecessarily expose corporate policy limits to this “hazard” for the purpose of saving a few dollars of insurance premium.

•  Depending on the size of your business property, post stop signs at all intersections and clearly mark traf? c lanes.

•  Post and enforce (low) speed limits on the property for all motorized vehicles including forklift trucks and employee’s personal autos.

•  Clearly identify pedestrian walkways in the parking lot.

•  Install wide-angle mirrors at all vehicular entrances & exits to improve visibility and allow drivers to see oncoming traf?c.

•  Require employees to honk their horns as they exit the building to alert drivers and pedestrians outside the building. Once again, if you have them, forklift trucks should also follow this rule.

•  If pedestrian traf?c is present inside the building, mark walkways with bright yellow or white paint to identify safe areas.

•  Finally, discuss vehicle accident prevention with all employees. The items listed below provide good topics for driver safety meetings. The Handbook for Responsible Driving (Cobb County Teen Driver Awareness Committee) lists the following:

Ten Common Driving Errors:

1. Excessive Speed

2. Failure to wear seat belt

3. Inattentiveness

4. Distraction inside the automobile

5. Inadequate defensive driving techniques

6. Incorrect assumptions about other driver

7. Tailgating or not leaving enough space between vehicles

8. Not checking for traf? c in the passing lane

9. Passing without checking for traf? c in the passing lane

10. Not checking behind for oncoming cars when pulling away from the curb


For more information on any of Zurich’s products or services, visit them online at

You May Also Like

HP Academy Teaches EFI Online

The HP Academy was started to fulfill the need for some sort of formal training for EFI tuning. Two New Zealanders, Andre Simon and Ben Silcock, founded HPA in 2010.

With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, classrooms, as we know them, are not in session. You can’t physically distance in a small class in real life, but you can online. Virtual learning is now the new norm across the country. The racing industry is getting a leg up thanks to one school that is dedicated to online education. 

Utilizing Instagram

“When we started, we had no business at all… that’s when I started using Instagram,” Yaghoubian says. “Back then I didn’t know a lot about social media, but it works for business really well, and especially the automotive industry on Instagram.”

Higher Revving Education

We’ve all seen the ads in magazines and online for schools, classes and seminars on tuning an ever-increasing number of engines and even transmissions in today’s cars and trucks. The better ones will include the use of a chassis dyno to show real-time results of the step-by-step methods they teach.

Chassis vs Engine Dyno

We spoke with a couple shops that utilize both dyno types to get their take on the advantages, disadvantages and reasons to have one over the other or both.

Tradeshow Season

While the rest of the world tends to slow down in the fourth quarter, our industry is starting to rev up. That’s because it’s tradeshow season, and the excitement for next year is always palpable!

Other Posts
OE Parts vs. the Aftermarket

Many of your customers believe that OEM parts are better than aftermarket parts. We wanted to dispel some of the myths once and for all. Without getting into the mud about which brands are better. It is important to note that not all parts are created equal, and this includes both aftermarket and OE replacement parts.

Setting Up an Instagram Account

The old saying goes, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Well, in the world of social media, that same picture is not just worth 1,000 words, but could also be worth thousands of dollars in new business for your engine shop. By now you’ve likely seen our features on setting up and utilizing Facebook for your business. Next on our ‘to-do list’ is an introduction to Instagram for those of you who haven’t started utilizing this social media platform.

The Potential in Differential

Is growth part of your business strategy? It comes in a lot of different forms, but when it’s adding a new service offering or product for your customers, it can be nerve-racking at the very least. The additional investment in tools, equipment, training or people weighed against the unknown outcome leaves you holding all the risk, unless there is something that’s a perfect fit.

How To Put Your Facebook Page To Work

A couple months ago, we walked you through the setup of a Facebook business page. Hopefully you’ve gone ahead and created that page and took some time over the last couple months to play around with ways to engage with an audience. If not, go back and check out the February issue. It’s worth your while to do so!