An auto accident is any event where property damage, personal injury and/or death occurs as the result of a motor driven vehicle. A “zero loss” mentality should be your primary objective as auto accidents are costly in repairs, lost productivity and the potential emotional impact they can leave. While a zero-loss objective can be sought by proper driver selection, training, and supervision, there are outside factors which can’t be controlled and thus must be prepared for.
Accident investigations are an important practice to identify the root cause of the event. The better prepared an organization is to conduct an accident investigation, the more insight will be gained to help reduce the potential for a future repeat occurrence. Formalizing these procedures will enable a timely collection and evaluation of contributing factors.
At the scene of the accident
A driver’s actions at the scene of the accident may play a part to help reduce the impact of the loss. Preparing drivers on what steps to follow, what information to gather and even what to say and not say will help them focus on the situation at hand. This is accomplished by conducting thorough training annually to remind personnel of their requirements post-accident.
The creation of an accident packet kept in each vehicle will provide drivers with a guide to the steps to follow after an accident. The packet should contain the current vehicle registration and insurance card in addition to the instructions the driver is to follow once the scene is secure and assistance has been requested.
Whenever possible, the driver should contact their supervisor immediately after securing the accident scene. Timely reporting will enable supervisors to provide assistance and ensure proper steps are followed.
The supervisor must be trained on the steps necessary post-collision to ensure the safety and well-being of the employee and others involved. Supervisors should first check with the driver to confirm emergency services were contacted as necessary. If not, the supervisor should obtain the location of the accident and general details of what occurred, and how many people are involved. This information should then be provided to the authorities as it will assist emergency responders.
Supervisors should then begin to collect information regarding the accident or to go to the scene, as proximity permits, to act as a company representative. The supervisor should collect, or ask the driver to take, photos using their cell phone or a camera kept in the accident reporting kit. These photos will help document the scene and preserve information for later analysis. If the scene can’t be visited, supervisors should assist the driver to conduct the investigation once the scene is safe to do so. The driver and/or supervisor should collect witness names and contact information and identify any underlying factors such as weather conditions, road configurations, and any other circumstances that may have contributed to the collision. This information will help with the analysis and review.
If company policy or regulations require the testing of the driver for substances, arrangements should be made to have the driver tested within the required timeframe.
Claim reporting should be submitted to The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., as soon as possible but always within the first 24-hours following an accident. Reporting should be supplemented by driver and witness statements, police reports, photographs and other pertinent information that will enable claims representatives to process the claim.
Carriers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) must also maintain a current accident register. For information on these requirements please visit the following link: https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/newentrant/MC/Content.aspx?nav=Accidents
The investigation should focus on determining causal conditions to prevent a similar event in the future. Understanding the root cause will help identify what went wrong while correcting conditions that resulted in the collision. Investigations should consider driver performance, compliance with regulations or company policies, weather and road conditions, time of day, area of the accident and the overall impact cargo may have contributed to the accident.
Once the detailed and timely investigation is completed, a thorough and accurate assessment can be reached. The lessons learned can then be applied to help all drivers with their future performance.
- Please visit The Hanover’s Risk Solutions website at www.hanover.com/risksolutions to view our many resources and partnerships to assist organizations in their training and policy development needs. Get immediate access to a wide range of risk management tools and information, including safety topics, technical bulletins, checklists, videos and literature.
- On-line driver safety courses are available to our customers on a limited complimentary basis and are provided through our vendor partner Evolved Safety. Courses target staff and management related safety topics. Available courses address driver safety training needs including: basic driver safety; passenger van driver safety; delivery driver safety; distracted driving prevention; DOT requirements; hazards of speeding, and additional other courses that are updated frequently. Jump-start your safety training today by visiting our Hanover Risk Solutions website.
- The Hanover has partnered with BlueArrow to provide telematics services to our policyholders enabling real time asset tracking and safety management of an organizations fleet operation.
- The smartphone app-based system helps to mitigate distracted driving, a leading cause of motor vehicle collisions, while providing management notifications of unsafe vehicle operational habits to assist in training and coaching opportunities of a driver.
Talk to your Hanover Risk Solutions consultant for more information or further assistance and please visit our Risk Solutions website for additional information pertaining to these and other valuable resources.
The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries ("The Hanover") specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.