No matter how much safety training you offer, eventually a driver will be involved in an accident. Maybe it was their fault, and maybe it wasn’t. Hopefully no one is injured, but of course, that’s always a possibility. What you do after the accident can make all the difference in whether you still have a fleet to run once the dust settles.
Here’s what you need to know.
A big accident causes a lot of damage — to people and vehicles as well as financial damage to your business. If an accident is classified as a DOT-qualifying accident, not only was it big on damage, but it means the FMCSA may watch your fleet more closely than ever before. It also triggers a red flag that’s more likely to bring about a compliance audit.
Once the FMCSA starts looking into your fleet during an audit, any and every problem comes under the microscope. At best, they require you to follow stricter safety guidelines and monitor your company for a certain amount of time. At worst, your business might be shut down. All accidents need to be taken seriously, and you need to get as much information after the accident as possible.
What is a DOT-Qualifying Accident?
If any of the following criteria is met from an accident your driver is involved in, the FMCSA requires you to maintain an Accident Register on it for at least three years.
- Any number of human fatalities
- At least one vehicle being so disabled it requires a tow away
- Any accident on a public road
- Injury to at least one person that requires medical care in a location other than the scene of the accident
In a compliance audit, they’re going to want to see your documentation, and if they don’t, things could go south quickly. While documentation is important for all accidents, it’s especially important in a DOT-qualifying accident.
Getting the Information You Need
When an accident occurs on the road, time is of the essence. You need as much information as possible, as soon as possible. With the Accident Investigation feature in the Gorilla Safety app, your driver can send you what you need faster than ever. You don’t have to wait for them to come in from the road or send anyone out to them
They can collect driver, passenger, and witness information. They can take pictures or record video of the damage. Your driver can even record what others say — good for when memories become “fuzzy” later.
Not only do you have the information you need for your own documentation, but you can quickly and easily send it to your insurer for the claims process. Even if they don’t know all the details, make sure your drivers use this tool. Your insurance adjustor can ask for more information later, as they need it. No matter who seems to be at fault in the accident, always file an insurance claim.
From costly accidents that end in liability lawsuits to compliance audits that don’t go in your favor, a big truck accident can wreak havoc in multiple ways. Make sure your drivers know what to do in an accident and use the Gorilla Safety app to send you the information you need. Ready to make the switch to Gorilla Safety? Contact us today!