Fleet managers and truck drivers should prepare for what to do in the event of an accident. Semi-trucks are three times larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, so accidents involving commercial trucks often cause severe injuries and even death. That is why drivers should be aware of the danger and know how to stay safe on the road. You hope it never happens, but you should always be prepared for what to do at the scene of an accident. Read on for tips on handling a semi-truck accident.
The first and most important step following an accident is to remain calm. Take a few deep breaths and remember that you are the professional in this situation. Do not move around until you check to make sure you have not suffered injuries. If you have not been injured, check before exiting your truck to make sure it is safe. You do not want to step out of your truck into the path of oncoming traffic.
Remain at the Scene
Turn off your truck’s engine and activate the hazard lights. Be sure to call the police and report the accident. Give as clear a description of your location as possible when calling for help. Never, under any circumstances, leave the scene of an accident. It is illegal in most states to leave the scene of an accident that caused personal injuries or property damage.
Secure the Scene
Whether your truck was involved in the accident or not, you should secure the accident scene. Unless the police have already set flares or taken steps to prevent other cars from veering into the scene of the accident, you should set flares or reflectors according to federal guidelines. Failing to do so, especially when your truck was involved, could make you responsible for secondary accidents that may occur.
Obtain the names and contact information of all drivers and occupants involved in the accident. Be sure to gather all information from their driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations, license plates, and vehicle identification numbers. It may take a thorough investigation before the cause of the accident can be determined, so do not admit fault or make any statements at the scene.
File a Report
You must immediately file a report of the accident. You can do so by contacting your employer or, if you own the truck, by notifying your insurance company. Failure to immediately file an accident report could negatively impact your employment or your insurance claims.
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