General: No matter how safely a driver operates his/her commercial motor vehicle (CMV), there is always the possibility that a driver could be involved in an accident. When the unexpected occurs, it is important that a driver knows what to do and what to expect.
1. Steps to follow in the event of an accident.
A. Stop immediately.
(i) Stay calm.
(ii) Pull your vehicle as far off the road as safety possible.
B. Prevent additional accidents.
(i) Turn on the vehicle’s four-way flashers.
(ii) Set out warning devices. (Be alert when putting out your triangles)
C. Notify law enforcement (Call 911)
(i) Provide location of the accident.
(ii) Include number of vehicles and people involved, if known.
D. Check for injuries.
(i) Call for ambulance assistance if necessary.
(ii) Don’t move an injured person unless the individual is in a life-threatening situation.
E. Document the accident.
(i) Time, location, description of damage (vehicles and property)
(ii) Names and addresses of all involved parties, insurance companies, and law enforcement names, badge numbers, etc., if available.
(iii) Type, make, model, license number of all vehicles involved in the accident.
(iv) Draw a simple diagram of the accident scene.
(v) Take photos of all vehicles to include front, back, and both sides of all vehicles involved in the accident with your camera provided or your smart phone.
F. Notify your motor carrier as soon as practical, the earlier the better.
Summary: No one starts their day thinking they will be in an accident. When you are behind the wheel you must be alert at all times and always obey the rules of the road. Be courteous, do not use your hand held cell phone while driving, avoid distractions, and wear your seat belt. By practicing safe defensive driving protocol, you stand a higher probability of becoming an accident statistic.