Heavy Duty Trucking

OCT 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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34 HDT • OCTOBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com not a divided highway) or 100 feet behind the second ref lector. 4. Get help. In most cases that will mean a driver calling 911 with a cell phone. However, if for some reason that doesn't work, Jerrell said, a driver should send many people for help in many directions. Just one person, once they get away from the scene, could decide someone else will make the call and just go on their way. What about giving first aid to the injured? This topic triggered a discus- sion with the audience about whether giving drivers first aid training could help or harm a company in a lawsuit. Yes, there's always a risk, Jerrell said, but a prosecuting attorney also could make the case that training drivers in first aid would be a reasonable thing for companies to do – and that not doing so could put you at fault. If you decide your drivers should offer such aid, make sure they have the training and the supplies needed, including training about blood pathogens and a first aid kit with gloves. Sometimes the best thing a driver can do is cover someone with a blanket to help combat shock and stay with them until help arrives. 5. Get witness information. Drivers should politely get the name, address, phone number and license plate number of any witnesses. Keep in mind that a driver's behavior dur- ing this exercise will help determine whether their testimony is favorable to you or not. If they can't get the information verbally, they can snap a picture of the car and its license plate. But drivers should not spend too much time with witnesses, as that could be seen in court as an attempt to coerce them and coach them what to say. 6. Notify the company. When a driver calls in, the natural human tendency is to try to defend himself. Encourage drivers to give a neutral report. In fact, ask them to lean the other way and imagine if they were the other party, what negative things they might have to say about the ac- cident. Make sure that the person taking that call is trained and prepared. Any message they send, anything they say, any notes they write can be used in court. If a driver calls, do they know the information the company needs? Do they have a form to fill out? 7. Take photos, take photos, take photos. These days, most drivers have cellphones that can take pictures. Train them how to use the time-stamp feature. This is another good activity for orientation – show them how, then have them take a picture with a time stamp and send it to you. That's the best thing that can happen, if drivers send photos directly from the scene. Drivers should take photos from all sides of the vehicle – their own and any others involved. Get close- ups of any damage or other details, but make sure to include something in the photo to indicate relative size of what they're trying to document. Take a panoramic photo of the scene. This could identify details or even witnesses you aren't aware of at the time. Take photos even if it's a minor incident and the other party agrees there is no damage. These steps should be taught in orientation, practiced, and reviewed on an ongoing basis, Jerrell said. Laminated cheat-sheets outlining the steps that are kept in the cab can help drivers remember the steps in the confusion of an actual crash aftermath. n Safety&Compliance Nevada fleet at fault iN traiN-truck crash N evada-based John Davis Trucking was found to be at fault for a fiery June 2011 crash between one of its trucks and an Amtrak train along U.S. 95. It led to the deaths of six people, including the trucker. A civil suit resulted in a $4.5 million judgment against the company. The National Transportation Safety Board investigation found an inattentive truck driver and poorly maintained brakes, includ- ing anti-lock brakes that had been rendered inoperable, were likely responsible for the crash. truck parkiNg system oN i-94 M ichigan and Minnesota have activated a new system to help truck drivers find parking along Interstate 94. The system uses a network of cameras, in-cab messaging and message signs a few miles ahead of the rest area or partici- pating truckstop to help truckers decide when to stop and rest. The information is also available in a mobile app (providing informa- tion audibly) and on a website so dispatchers can relay the real-time information to truckers. truckiNg deaths dowN T he number of deaths in truck- ing last year accounted for about 10% of all fatal work injuries, according to the U.S. Labor De- partment. There were 461 deaths in what the department labels the truck transportation sector, 8% lower than in 2012, with 67% of these incidents occurring on the road- way. Nine percent of the trucking deaths were due to being struck by an object or equipment, 5% were caused by falls and 1% was due to homicides. SAFETY Shorts "There's a high prob- ability 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 Jerrell HNI Risk Services

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