Tips to help on the scene of an accident
Trucking requires travel. And sometimes in all that travel, accidents happen. These situations can be stressful and confusing. We want to help you understand what needs to be done if there’s a crash.
After an accident, it’s critical to meet all of the reporting requirements. Here’s what needs to be done right away:
- Stop: Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime and can bring severe penalties.
- Protect the scene: Turn on four-way flashers and quickly, but safely, set out warning devices following DOT regulations.
- Help the injured: Assist anyone who is hurt. Don’t move them unless absolutely necessary. Try to keep them warm and resting quietly until medical help arrives.
- Notify police: Call if you can. Otherwise, have another motorist report the accident. The driver should not leave the truck and cargo unguarded except in an extreme emergency.
- Notify employer: Contact the dispatcher or company safety officer and give a specific location, time, the extent of injuries and any damage, the condition of cargo, and where you can be reached. Drivers who are seriously injured should try and make sure someone notifies the company about what happened, the location of the hospital they’re going to, and what time they were taken.
- Notify Sentry: Call Sentry Insurance to report the crash. Assistance is available 24 hours a day at 800-373-6879.
Our Sentry accident kit provides all the information and tools needed to file an accurate and timely report, including:
- Instructions on documenting all needed information
- An accident/cargo damage report that should be completed at the scene
- Witness cards
- Driver’s exoneration form
- A postage-paid return envelope
Collecting all of the vital accident information is key. Here are some things to keep in mind while making a report:
- Be polite and give your name, the company’s name and offer to show a driver’s license
- Admit nothing, promise nothing, and don’t argue
- Don’t discuss the accident with anyone other than police and representatives from the company
- Get names, addresses, and phone numbers of all witnesses
- If refused, get their vehicle’s license number
If there are no witnesses, you should get contact information from first person on the scene.
Don’t move any of the vehicles until someone has witnessed their position, any skid marks, lights, road signs, weather, and road conditions—and you’ve taken photos showing:
- All tire marks with the vehicles in the background
- All four corners of the damaged vehicles and their license plates
- Minor damage from 3-4 feet away
- Any towing or emergency equipment at the scene
- Fuel or hazardous material spills
If it’s safe for you to do so, get a photo that shows the long view of the scene—including road markings and traffic signals. Remember, don’t photograph anyone who was injured or killed.
Once the photos are taken, send them to Sentry Claims following the instructions in your accident kit.
If the accident is a hit-and-run, or the other driver refuses to stay at the scene or provide information, notify police and give them all the details possible. That way the report is on the police log if the other driver tries to make a claim later.
This is just some of the accident information we have for you. We also have tips on post-accident drug and alcohol testing requirements, and accident investigations to help you deal with any loss.