Traffic accidents are bound to happen regardless of the level of experience of the driver. On average, non-fleet drivers in the US cover 12,000 – 15,000 miles in a year and so there is a 1 in 15 chance of being involved in a vehicle crash. The majority of fleet drivers cover 20,000 to 25,000 miles or even more, thus they have higher chances of getting involved in automobile accidents.
In a bid to curb traffic accidents, fleet owners and managers may take several measures, such as continuous training of drivers, offering incentives to the drivers exhibiting responsible driving and tracking the vehicle whereabouts and drivers’ behaviour by use of technology like Eyeride Online.
It is necessary for fleet drivers to know what steps to take in case of an accident, be it a fender bender (minor accident) or a fatal one. The fleet managers have a duty to set a policy detailing the best post-collision practices. The same should also be communicated to drivers. The accident policy and instructions ought to be kept in the glove compartment of each fleet vehicle in case of an accident. Here are some suggested steps that a driver should take at the scene of the accident as suggested by an experienced fleet manager:
Seven Things Any Fleet Driver Should do After an Accident
1) Do not Move the Vehicle
You should let the vehicle remain in the same position as it was when the accident happened, except if the vehicle is blocking traffic, in which case you should move it away from the traffic, if you can.
2) Maintain your Calm
You should remain as composed as possible and avoid reacting angrily. Remember this especially when dealing with another driver showing unreasonable behaviour.
3) Seek Help for any Casualties
In the case that passengers from any of the vehicles, or any pedestrians, suffer injuries, call for medical help immediately. Avoid moving injured passengers until the medical help arrives, except if there is a person at the scene who is trained in emergency medical procedures.
4) Contact the Police
Irrespective of the severity of the accident, or its location, call the police. If you cannot, request or instruct somebody else to do it.
5) Do not Admit Liability
You must avoid discussing the details of the accident with anyone except the police. Express yourself politely but do not acknowledge being at fault to the other driver or the police, even if the crash occurred as a result of your (driver’s) actions.
6) Inform your Employer
Get in touch with your employer, the company fleet manager or the person in charge of handling accidents in the company and, if required, , call the insurance company as soon as possible. If it is a requirement in the company fleet policy, file a vehicle accident report with the relevant authorities. A police report may help insurance companies expedite the claim process.
7) Photograph and Document the Accident
Take photographs of the vehicle and the accident scene, ensuring you capture all the relevant details – damage to all vehicles, road conditions, road signs, lights and so on. Write down all the relevant information relating to the incident, which include the incident details (location, time and date, any issue with your vehicle’s functionality before the accident), involved parties’ details (name, vehicle registration number, contacts and others),witnesses’ details (names, contacts and any other) and the police officers’ information such as badge numbers, name, contact etc.