Fleets should have a clear procedure in place should a driver be involved in an incident.
Driver training, ongoing education programmes, telematics, vehicle safety checks, speed limiting technology and driver incentives are all highly effective, proven measures of reducing the chances of your employees being involved in an incident.
However, it’s impossible to eliminate the risk of accidents completely, therefore, it’s equally important to have a structured accident management process in place too, so that if the worst should happen, you’re prepared.
Your accident response procedure starts at the point of impact. Drivers need to know exactly what to do, what information they need to give and gather, and who to contact. Erecting a warning triangle on the approach to an incident site, or moving a vehicle out of the path of traffic are simple enough tasks, but drivers need to know when to step in and when to leave the site untouched, as intervening with the best of intentions could be potentially unsafe, or could hinder the gathering of evidence.
Encourage drivers to take photographs. Most mobile phones have cameras, but some companies provide disposable cameras in vehicles as well. Note-taking is of paramount importance too and drivers should record vehicle and driver details, passenger information, incident location and time, weather conditions, visibility and anything else that could be relevant, plus of course vehicle damage, injury and details of police attendance. Detailed incident data will assist greatly with insurance claim processing, and will help to establish why the situation happened and how to avoid re-occurrence.