When a semi-truck accident occurs it can be a frightening and overwhelming experience for all parties involved. The emotion and adrenaline that comes from such an experience can cloud your judgement and make it difficult to know who you should call in that moment, where you should go, or what you should do next.
Who Should You Call After A Trucking Accident
Your first call should be to phone emergency services or 911 requesting police to be dispatched to the scene of the accident. If anyone has been injured during the collision it will be important to notify the 911 operator, so they can dispatch medical personnel to the scene as well.
Safety is the top priority. Once everyone is out of harm's way. You should turn your attention to your legal well being. Make a call to a personal injury attorney who will assist you through the process. The very best way to protect yourself whether you’re liable for the accident or not, is to have your case reviewed by a lawyer. They can give you professional advice on how to handle any of the phone calls that will follow, such as an insurance adjuster. This will also help you navigate the legal side of things after the initial wreck is over.
If you are the driver of the truck be sure to get in touch with your supervisor as soon as possible. The company will likely have steps and procedures in place to help protect the company in the case of a truck accident. It is important to ask any questions you have and follow the directions given. Most trucking companies invest large sums of money into protecting their drivers, so be sure to fall in line with anything your employer asks you to do, as this will be in the best interest of the company.
In most cases it will be beneficial for both parties to not make any statements about the accident. Regardless of who’s at fault, anything said can and will be used against you. So it's best to keep all phone conversations factual. Only discussing what is absolutely necessary.
Steps To Take After a Trucking Accident
- Report the accident
- Exchange information
- Seek medical attention
- Document the accident
Report the accident. Making that first phone call is critical to the safety of all involved. Leave your vehicle where it has landed as a result of the accident if it is safe to do so. This will preserve the most evidence. However if you are still in the roadway it may be best to move your vehicle to safety. Laying out any cones, road flares, and turning on hazard lights will help prevent additional collisions while awaiting emergency responders. Do not leave the scene of the accident until emergency responders arrive.
The next step would be to exchange information with the other parties involved. You should collect identifying information such as the driver’s name, driver's license number, license plates of any vehicles involved, insurance carrier and the name of the insurance agent, policy number etc.
Once the truck accident has been reported be sure to seek medical attention whether you’re injured or not. Many times the adrenaline from the experience alone is enough to push your body into fight or flight mode. You may feel fine immediately after the accident, and this can cause serious injuries to go unnoticed.
While you shouldn’t do anything to jeopardize your health. If you have been checked over by medical personnel and have been deemed well enough to do so, documenting the semi-truck accident and any injuries using the camera on your phone is also useful to preserve evidence of the collision. Photos and videos can help determine exactly how the accident occured, damage that was done, and can provide proof of injuries sustained.
How to Avoid a Trucking Accident
As a passenger car on the road, there are many ways you can minimize the risk of being involved in a semi-truck accident. Always use the proper turn signal and merge carefully. It is more difficult for a truck driver to both slow and accelerate their vehicle so being mindful of that when passing a truck, giving adequate space between vehicles will aid both parties in passing safely.
Avoid blind spots of the semi-truck. A good rule of thumb is if you're unable to see the driver in their rearview mirror, then it is likely that they can't see you either. It’s important to stay aware even if you think the truck driver knows you’re there. Be prepared for external circumstances such as high winds. Poor weather could make it difficult to maneuver out of the way of the truck if you’re too close. Keeping a safe following distance and avoiding close proximity to the truck will help everyone remain safe. Taking these precautions is helpful if an emergency does arise. Say a tire blows out on either vehicle. It will be nearly impossible to react quickly enough to prevent an accident in the moment. It is better to take good safety measures beforehand to prevent the collision from happening.
Lastly, avoiding distractions is a fantastic way to prevent an accident. Put your cellphone somewhere it wont draw your attention if you receive a notification. Pull off the nearest exit to eat rather than eating while you drive. Keep the radio at a reasonable volume, and even conversation between passengers should be minimal to reduce distractions for the driver of the vehicle.
As the truck driver, reviewing common safety tips and following them is a great way to keep you and other drivers on the road safe. Follow all company policies and procedures. Ensure everything is in working order before you hit the road, inspecting your vehicle for any mechanical failures. Come to work well rested. Be honest and discuss with your employer if you're feeling fatigued while driving. Refrain from speeding, or driving under the influence as this is both dangerous and illegal! Take care to observe your environment regularly as you drive. You may need to make changes to your driving due to poor weather conditions or distracted drivers. You're not the only one on the road, so be vigilant in watching for any hazardous conditions.
Thank you for reading this article. If you are interested in working for a trucking company with your best interest at heart ABL Trucking is the place for you. We do our best to give you time with your family and happiness in your workspace. To apply for a job you can call us at (385) 722-7331 or contact us online.