Heavy Duty Trucking

OCT 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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f 32 HDT • OCTOBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com another vehicle then hits your vehicle, the driver is at fault. If at all possible, tell drivers, get beyond the scene of the accident, on the less-traveled part of the road. 3. Secure the scene. Failure to secure the scene properly can result in major liability issues. Drivers need to put ref lectors out as soon as they can. There's a big miscon- do anything, take a deep breath," Jerrell recommended telling drivers. "There's a high probability you're the only person on this scene who's a professional. The people on the scene expect you to do things right, the courts expect you to do things right." Don't admit fault to anyone – even a simple "I'm sorry" could be construed by a court as an admittance of guilt. By Deborah Lockridge • Editor in Chief Fleets should prepare for and practice what to do in the event of a serious accident just like they would for fire drills – from top management to dispatchers to drivers, according to Don Jerrell, a safety expert at HNI Risk Services. Jerrell, a former driver and safety manager who's now associate vice president of transportation for HNI, told attendees of the Fleet Safety Conference earlier this year that what drivers and other company person- nel do immedi- ately following an accident can help you win a lawsuit or cause you to lose one. The key, he said, is proper prepara- tion and proper training. Drivers should go through live exercises simulating the aftermath of a crash. Company spokespeople (have you designated who that should be?) should go through simulations of interviews with a camera in their face. Because the driver is the one on the scene, Jerrell outlined seven steps drivers need to take when involved in an accident. These should be ingrained in them through proper training and practice: 1. Remain calm. "Before you Drivers and others at your company need to know what to do in the aftermath of a serious accident Drivers and others at your company need to know what to do in Safety&Compliance Preparing for a crash Even if it doesn't appear to be a serious accident, the driver should get photos at the scene. PHOTO: ISTOCK 2. Stop. Drivers should not move the unit from the crash site unless told to do so by police or signs posted on the highway. If stopping to give aid to a crash a driver is not involved in, he or she should not park the truck behind the crash to protect the people involved. While a driver's heart may be in the right place, if ception, Jerrell said, that drivers have 10 minutes to do that. But the rules say that if you're going to be stopped for more than 10 minutes, you have to put ref lectors out right away. One ref lector goes 10 feet behind the vehicle, a second one 100 feet behind. The third ref lec- tor goes 100 feet in front (if it's

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