The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

What to Do After An Accident

An automobile accident can be an extremely upsetting and stressful experience. However, it’s critical for drivers to keep their composure and take certain steps immediately following a crash.

November 2012, by Staff


Employees driving company vehicles must abide by fleet policy at all times, especially in the event of an accident. One of the first things to do following an accident is to make sure the damage stays as minimal as possible by controlling the scene so a follow-up accident doesn’t occur.
Employees driving company vehicles must abide by fleet policy at all times, especially in the event of an accident. One of the first things to do following an accident is to make sure the damage stays as minimal as possible by controlling the scene so a follow-up accident doesn’t occur.

There is no guarantee even the most skilled and experienced driver can avoid a collision. Despite evasive actions that might minimize the effects of a collision, accidents happen. Drivers must be prepared to respond appropriately and effectively. Being prepared can minimize physical and mental suffering, loss of time, legal problems, and expenses often associated with a collision. Knowing what to do in case of an accident can often mean the difference between life and death.

Fleet managers must make sure all employees driving on company business — and especially in a company vehicle — are fully aware of what steps to take in the event they are involved in an accident.

Don’t Panic and Stay Focused

There are three things to remember after an accident: Don’t panic, think of what must be done in logical order, and get help as soon as possible.

Drivers involved in an accident must be aware that the accident scene may have the potential of causing another accident. However, some jurisdictions require vehicles remain in place after an incident occurs. In any case, the driver must safely control the accident scene to prevent other traffic from colliding with the damaged vehicles.

Have drivers warn approaching traffic of the incident in either direction, or assign someone to do so. If the vehicles are disabled, set out warning flares and turn on emergency flashers and lights.

After setting up warnings, if the vehicles cannot be moved (either because they are disabled or due to the law requiring they remain in place) it is important to get as far away from the vehicles as possible. This is especially true if low visibility or heavy traffic conditions are present.

If regulations permit it, move the vehicles out of the traffic flow, making sure to note, and if possible photograph, their original locations for the accident report.

Contact the Authorities

Under all circumstances, the police must be called as soon as possible. The police may indicate when and if an officer will arrive. Be patient and follow their instructions.

Under some circumstances, such as non-injury and a low-dollar repair estimate to the vehicles, the officer may direct the driver to go directly to the police station to file a report. Drivers should carefully note all instructions given and obtain the name and badge number of the officer, either at the scene or on the phone.

Paramedics or an ambulance must be called immediately for anyone injured in the collision. Injured persons should not be moved unnecessarily, as doing so may increase the severity of their injuries.

If the collision involves an unattended vehicle, the owner must be notified. If that is not immediately possible, a note should be attached to the vehicle with the driver’s contact information. Police should be notified immediately and be informed of the steps the driver has taken.

Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email:  

Related Whitepapers



Fleet Incentives

View information regarding fleet incentives and other fleet-related programs direct from the major manufacturers.
 


Sponsored by

Blog

Driving Notes

Mike Antich
2015 Mazda6 GT Sedan

By Mike Antich
The Mazda6 represents an ideal model for the commercial fleet market and, after spending several days in the vehicle, I can see where it can excel in meeting commercial fleet applications, especially as a sales or reward vehicle.

2015 Chevrolet Trax Compact SUV

By Steven Martinez

View All

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
The Big Conundrum of 'Big Data'

By Sherb Brown
Big Data is the hottest new catchphrase with the tech and fleet crows. Our recent surveys indicate that most fleet managers love data and want more of it, but are unhappy with the data they are actually getting.

Depreciation Returns to the Used-Vehicle Market

By Sherb Brown

View All

Market Trends

Mike Antich
The Danger of Lower Fuel Prices

By Mike Antich
The recent drop in fuel prices has been as breathtaking as earlier run-up in prices. If sustained, these reduced fuel prices will begin to make a dent in overall fleet fuel expenditures.

Are Ride Sharing & Car Sharing New Fleet Management Options?

By Mike Antich

View All

In Memoriam: Coach's Insights

Ed Bobit
Thinking of the Newbies of the Future

By Ed Bobit
A lot has changed in the past 10-15 years, so we can only imagine this momentum will continue into the next decade-plus. How will this change impact the fleet manager of tomorrow?

Managing a Car vs. Work Truck Fleet

By Ed Bobit

View All

STORE

$10.00

Auto Fleet - January 2014

Here are the Highlights

  • Analysis of CY-2014
  • Wheels Celebrates its 75th Anniversary
    And much more…