Being involved in an accident can be alarming and disorienting, but an accident involving a commercial truck can be downright frightening. Who do you call? What actions do you take? It’s important to be prepared and informed before a wreck occurs, because the steps you take afterwards can become critical down the line. At Centerline, our drivers’ safety is our top priority. We strive to arm our drivers with the knowledge and resources needed to tackle even the hardest situations. Below we have outlined the steps truck drivers should take after a collision.
Step 1: Move to Safety
After an accident, it is important that you move out of harm’s way to prevent further damage. Place your reflectors out on the road. This will alert other drivers of the incident and help secure the scene. Take some time to calm your mind, and remember to never admit fault or apologize for the accident.
Step 2: Make the Right Calls
Call the police and seek medical attention, whether you are injured or not. The moments following a crash can be very disorienting. You may not notice or feel any pain or injuries. Remember, if your vehicle requires towing or if an accident results in a party requiring immediate medical attention or a fatality, your crash qualifies as a DOT recordable accident.
Step 3: Document Everything
Regardless of the results of the accident, it is important to make sure you are protected. Always report an accident, no matter how small. Police officers that arrive at the scene will also be completing their own report – always ask for a copy. Take pictures from every angle of the truck, and make sure to get close-ups of any damage, including damage to other vehicles. The goal is to tell the story of what happened if things progress legally.
Fill out an accident report as early as possible so you don’t miss a single detail. Reports should include at a minimum: information about physical injuries or property damage, a diagram showing lane assignment and cross streets, the cause, and your role in the incident. Don’t forget to capture contact and insurance information for the other parties involved.
Accidents can and do occur, leaving even the most experienced drivers feeling on-edge. The most important thing to remember is to remain calm and follow the steps above. Remember, Centerline has your back.