Americans have always placed a high value on personal independence and freedom, this independence also translates to the freedom and desire to travel and a high value on car ownership. The number of households with no access to a vehicle decreased by 0.5 percent from 2020 to 2021. (U.S. Census)
The Federal Highway Administration – FHWA, recently stated that there are 275,913.237 personal and commercial vehicles registered to drivers in the United States. Though it is each individual’s responsibility to be safe behind the wheel of any vehicle and to keep fellow motorists safe. Car accidents still occur and at times there is no one at fault.
Below we will be discussing our four tips for what to do if you have a car crash in a company vehicle.
Car crashes don’t just happen by themselves, and the resulting aftermath can vary tremendously. The amount of damage to property and people and disruption to the public and commercial business are all things to consider. The cause can be human error, which you can sue the mechanic shop for, or weather related. Though people may know what to expect after they are in a car crash, what happens after a company car crash may be different.
The priority should be your safety, check yourself for any injuries and take the appropriate action. This may be to stay still and call for help if you are severely injured or trapped. If this is not the case and you can do so then check the well-being of all individuals involved in the accident, remember this could include multiple vehicles and multiple occupants. Check for injuries and call the emergency services if necessary.
- Some commercial vehicles may be transporting hazardous, dangerous, or toxic goods to check the safety of these and ensure their integrity is not compromised.
- Other commercial vehicles could be transporting animals, livestock or wildlife again to check on the safety of these creatures. If you need to lead them away from any danger or threat or alert members of the public who may be in danger.
Move to a safe location if possible, so as to avoid any further hazard or injury.
Notify the Authorities
Depending on the seriousness and severity of the crash, you may need to call the Police, emergency services, or any other authorities. Even when there may be no injured parties or hazards, always consider possible damage to public property, road signs, traffic lights, guard rails, or barriers. The local council or authority may need to repair or replace these or possibly charge for the damage to any responsible individual.
- Notifying the authorities may also require you to notify your insurance provider.
Report the incident
Depending on company policy and protocol, usually, the second call would be to your company or business manager. This could be the company transportation manager, vehicle dispatcher, or whoever the delegated important person is. It’s important to notify this person or persons as soon as possible so they can take the necessary action.
- If your company or business has a protocol or procedural document, then follow these instructions.
- Remember due to shock or adrenaline, your judgment may be impaired so think carefully about what you should do and take the advice given to you by your manager or whoever you report to.
This may seem obvious but it may come in handy when determining cause or fault but note down everything. Information such as the time, date, location, direction of travel, and a basic description of what happened. Make sure you write this down immediately so you do not need to rely on your memory.
- Today most people have camera phones so gather any pictures and video that members of the public may have caught of the incident.
- Likewise, some private and commercial vehicles may have dash cams recording their journey. If possible, gather any videos.
- Take photos of the scene, any damage, and the positions of the vehicles involved, especially if the vehicles may need to be moved soon after the incident for safety reasons.
- Don’t forget to take down the contact information, business information, and insurance details of the other parties involved. Provide them with any information you hold that will be helpful to them.
Remember, as this is a company vehicle the procedure and responsibilities may be different from those of private citizens, and liability may also differ. So, remember that it’s important to comply with any company policy and procedures regarding accidents in a company vehicle. Issues people don’t always consider could be.
- Legal and financial ramifications to the company or business, these may also affect the driver as an employee and jeopardize their career, so take these seriously.
- Cooperate with all investigations that the company and/or insurance company may initiate. Provide accurate and honest accounts of what happened, and if needed fill in an accident report. The police may also have questions and investigate the causes.
Ultimately, the safety of individuals and persons is what’s most important, keeping road users safe and protecting members of the public is a responsibility we all share.