Truck driving comes with many risks. The roads can be a dangerous place and accidents happen so fast. We know that it’s not the cheeriest, happiest thing to think about, but you have to be prepared for what to do if you’re involved in an accident while driving your truck – semi truck, flatbed truck, or box truck. The actions you take following the crash can make a huge difference if it comes to a lawsuit, and knowing what to do makes it much easier to stay calm and handle the situation.
What you need to do if you’re in an accident while driving your truck
1. Try to stay calm.
While being involved in an accident is scary and stressful, it’s important to stay calm. Panicking won’t help the situation, though of course, it’s completely understandable that you would be flustered and agitated. Do your best to concentrate on what you’ve got to do.
2. Don’t leave the scene of the accident.
You can’t flee the scene of the accident. If you don’t stop and instead just keep going, that’s a criminal offense. Stay put in a safe place until a police officer instructs you to move.
3. Do not admit fault.
You may feel responsible for the accident, but don’t admit fault. This can have big repercussions if you have to go to court. Remember, even saying “I’m sorry” can be taken as admitting fault. Be careful what you say and don’t discuss the accident with anyone but the police and the appropriate personnel from your company. This is also important in case you have to go to court.
4. Secure the accident scene.
Do what you can to safely secure the scene of the accident. If you don’t act to secure the scene, it could turn into a liability issue.
Make yourself more visible by turning on your truck’s hazard lights. Put reflectors on the road to alert other drivers that something’s happened. Hopefully, the reflectors will encourage them to slow down and move over. Put the first reflector ten feet behind the truck, and put a second reflector 100 feet behind the truck. Then put the third 100 feet in front of the accident (if you’re not on a divided highway) or 100 feet behind the scene (if you are on a divided highway.)
You have to secure the scene as soon as possible. But remember, stay safe.
5. Call emergency services.
Call 911 (or make sure someone has called 911) to report the accident and get emergency services to the scene. Let the dispatcher know if there are any injuries or hazards at the scene.
If someone is hurt, don’t move them unless they’re at immediate risk of danger. They might have injuries that you cannot see, or you could aggravate injuries they have. The best plan is to wait for emergency personnel to arrive. However, if someone seems like they’re in shock, you can offer a blanket and try to keep them warm and calm.
6. Notify your employer about the accident.
You have to tell your employer what happened. Reach out to the proper person at your business and let them know about the accident.
7. Document details using your crash kit.
Your truck should come equipped with a crash kit that has everything you need to record all the relevant information following an accident. You’ll need to get the information of all people involved in the accident (and that means any passengers, too.) You’ll need their names, addresses, insurance information, phone numbers, and license plate numbers.
Try to get contact information for witnesses, too – names, addresses, phone numbers, and license plates, if they’re willing to provide them. But don’t be overly pushy about it if they seem hesitant. You could run into trouble if you do or say anything that could be taken as you trying to influence or sway their account of what happened.
Here’s another helpful tip:
As soon as you can, write down a detailed account of your version of events. It will help you to record your memories when they’re still fresh in your mind, and this account can help you if you end up having to go through any legal proceedings months after the accident. This will spare you from having to strain to remember exactly what happened.
8. Take lots of photographs.
Photos are very helpful when you’re filing a truck insurance claim. Take pictures of the accident from many different angles and spots, and be sure to photograph all sides of all the vehicles involved in the crash. Even if there doesn’t seem to be a lot of damage to a particular car, take pictures. You also have to take photos of your truck. This could be helpful when it comes to a physical damage insurance claim and getting your truck repaired. If you can, take a photo of the entire accident scene.
Of course, don’t put your safety at risk for the sake of taking pictures. Take what pictures you can without jeopardizing your safety.
Being in a wreck is very scary, but it’s important to be prepared so you know what to do if you’re in an accident. Crashes happen. And although we hope you never have to use these tips and that you’re never involved in a wreck, we do want you to be prepared.
Do you want to save money on your truck insurance? Great! We can help. Our team can shop your rates for you so you can find the best truck insurance at the best rate. To get in touch with our truck insurance experts or get quotes, all you have to do is fill out our online form or give us a call today.