What to do when a Commercial Truck is Involved in an Accident
A commercial truck driver must be trained to maintain composure and follow the right procedure in the event of a crash. The fleet policy must include the steps a driver is required to take when the vehicle is involved in accident, and the driver must follow the policy in such a situation. The first concern following a crash must be to ensure that the damage remains minimal and any possibility of a follow-up accident is prevented.
Keep Focus and Stay Objective
The most important thing to remember in the event of a commercial truck accident is to maintain focus and objectivity. Panic will only lead to further damage. The driver must think of all the immediate steps to be undertaken in a logical order, and seek emergency assistance at the earliest. The scene of accident must be controlled in a way that the moving traffic is guided to prevent a collision with the truck or another stationary vehicle.
The driver can turn on the lights and emergency flashers and set out warning flares in such a situation. If the truck cannot be moved to a safer location, the driver and any other people should get away from it as quickly as possible. In high traffic conditions or in a low visibility scenario, it is particularly risky to stay near the stationary or disabled truck. If it is possible to move the truck to a safer location, the driver should preferably photograph the original location and position of the truck. If regulations permit it, move the vehicles out of the traffic flow, making sure to note, and if possible photograph, their original locations for the accident report.
Call for Emergency Assistance
The truck driver should try to assess if anyone involved in the accident has suffered injuries. If this is the case, the immediate step should be to call for an ambulance or paramedics. The driver may provide first-aid, if possible, but the injured persons should not be moved because it may aggravate the injuries. Moving an injured person may be a prudent idea only if the vehicle is exposed to the risk of another collision or fire. An injured person should not be moved at all unless they are in imminent danger. If you move someone who is injured, since you are not a paramedic, nurse, or a doctor, and their injuries are aggravated, you could be determined liable for your actions.
The truck driver must call up the police in any case, whether the accident involves personal injury or not. The driver must listen to the instructions of the police and follow them until they arrive on the scene. It is advisable to note down the name and identification number of the police officer, and ask for a copy of the police report when it is filed. In case the accident involves an unattended automobile, the driver should notify the owner or attach his contact information to the unattended vehicle.