A Compact Guide To Handling Fleet Vehicle Accidents
If you're like most fleet owners, you've probably never considered what your drivers should do in the event of a motor vehicle accident. This is unfortunate because when it comes to preventing these accidents from becoming serious legal issues or disrupting operations, quick action is key—and that means knowing exactly how employees should respond before they need to act.
If you run a fleet of vehicles, there's a good chance you've been involved in at least one or two accidents. Perhaps it was your fault, or perhaps it wasn't. Either way, there are ways that you can prepare yourself and your drivers for the inevitable. Here they are:
Use Road Safety Best Practices
By familiarizing yourself with the industry's road safety best practices, you can help ensure that your fleet vehicles are not involved in a collision. You may have heard some of these tips before, but it never hurts to be reminded of them:
•Ensure the driver is well rested. They should avoid driving when they’re tired and allow plenty of time between shifts so that workers can rest properly.
•Ensure the driver isn't under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The same goes for ensuring employees don't consume substances while driving.
•Ensure drivers have valid licenses. All drivers should carry proper licenses to operate company vehicles legally on public roads; otherwise, there's too much legal and financial risk when granting unqualified individuals access to company vehicles.
It’s also wise to have a qualified attorney on standby. For example, if you manage a fleet of trucks in Utah, it would be advantageous to have a good truck accident lawyer in Utah.
Know The Typical Reasons For Fleet Accidents
There are several reasons why fleet vehicle accidents occur. Some are preventable, but others aren't. To prepare for them and react properly if you're involved in one, it's good to know what causes accidents so that you can take steps to avoid them.
Some common reasons for fleet vehicle accidents include:
•Driver error: This is by far the most popular cause of all types of car crashes, including those involving large trucks and other commercial vehicles.
•Vehicle malfunction: An issue with a vehicle may lead directly to an accident.
•Poor maintenance: poor vehicle maintenance could also lead to problems that could cause accidents.
To better handle your fleet accidents, it's important to know the potential causes of the accidents. With such knowledge, you'll be better prepared to handle them.
Have A Clear Response Plan
First, have someone responsible for developing a plan and ensure everyone knows about it. If you're the fleet manager, you want to ensure that your company has a clear plan for handling an accident.
Your business may already have policies and procedures in place, but if not, now's the time to create such guidelines so you can ensure everyone follows them effectively in case something does happen under your watchful eye.
A clear response plan will help ensure everyone knows what steps to take when an accident occurs. It should be as easy to follow as possible. The most important thing is that people know exactly what they should do, so keep it simple.
Ensure All Drivers Know The Plan
Each driver must know how to respond in the event of an accident, whether by providing immediate medical care or calling for help. They should also know what to do if there's a fire or some other emergency that requires their attention.
Review with them the company's accident response plan and ensure they have a good understanding of it and their own vehicle's safety features.
Train On Road Safety And Accident Management
The first step in preventing and managing fleet vehicle accidents is to ensure every employee dealing with road safety and accident management is well trained. This should include all drivers, office staff handling claims, customer service representatives, and operations professionals.
Ensure employees understand how crucial quick action could be during times of crisis. Give them different scenarios, then practice these scenarios until everyone knows exactly what steps they should take without hesitation when faced with similar situations while on duty.
This information can be delivered through online courses or in-person classes—the latter may be more effective at making sure employees remember what they learned since it provides additional context for each lesson.
If you're in charge of managing a fleet of vehicles, it's important to know what you can do to make sure that your employees have the best response plan for handling road accidents. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that every driver on your team is prepared for any situation and will be able to respond quickly if an accident happens.