Accidents Happen: How to Respond When They Do
We all know that driving has its risks, and when it comes to an accident— significant or minor, it can be intimidating if you’re not prepared. Empower yourself and your drivers by knowing the immediate steps to take in the case of an accident, along with the administrative tasks you’ll need to handle in the days that follow. Learn how a fleet management company can simplify the process and quickly get you or your drivers back on the road.
Driver Protocol Following an Accident
Having an accident protocol is essential to keep your drivers safe. If an accident occurs, you or the driver should:
Assess the Situation, Get to Safety, and Check for injuries
Following an accident, you may be disoriented or confused. However, the first thing to do is to assess the situation. Are you in immediate danger? Does your vehicle pose a hazard to yourself or others? Can you pull to the side of the road or into a parking lot? If your vehicle is inoperable, leave it where it is and get yourself to safety. Once you’re safe, check yourself and your passengers for injuries.
Whether a minor fender-bender or a major collision, it’s best to contact 911 to have them dispatch personnel, especially in the case of injury. In fact, in many states, it’s required by law to report any vehicle accidents. Police will be dispatched to document the scene, complete an accident report, and facilitate the exchange of insurance information. While waiting for emergency personnel, turn off your engine and turn on your hazards.
If you’re able, take photo evidence of the incident. You’ll want to thoroughly capture any damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved. Take close-ups and wide shots from a variety of angles.
The Role of a Fleet Manager Following a Driver Accident
As a company vehicle manager, responding to driver accidents is an inevitable part of the job. Following an incident, it’s best to:
Check on Your Driver
Vehicles are replaceable, but employees are not. It’s essential to check on your employee as soon as possible, noting any injuries and their overall well-being. It will also be necessary to ask if they have seen a doctor and to inquire when they may be able to return to work. This information is vital for Human Resources and insurance purposes.
Contacting Your Corporate Insurer
In the case of an accident, you will want to inform your corporate insurance carrier immediately. Regardless of who is at fault, opportunistic attorneys may see an accident involving an employee driving on company time and set their sights on the entity with the deepest pockets—your organization.
Following an accident, it will be important to facilitate the vehicle’s repair by calling body shops and reviewing estimates. If your driver is out of state, it may take some legwork to ensure that you locate a reputable shop and a fair market rate for the repair work.
Arranging Alternate Transportation
While your driver’s vehicle is under repair, you’ll need to coordinate an alternate means of transportation until their car is ready, keeping in mind that a permanent replacement should be procured in the case of a total loss. With varying rates due to location, time of year, etc., you’ll want to contact multiple rental agencies to assess availability and pricing.
A Simplified Process with Motorlease
As a fleet manager, having one of your drivers involved in an accident can leave you feeling helpless and overwhelmed, with a long list of time-consuming response tasks on your desk. An experienced fleet management company such as Motorlease can simplify the process and take the burden off your shoulders.
We offer collision insurance for your fleet, eliminating the need for third-party insurance coverage. With our streamlined process, your driver only contacts one entity to report the accident and start the repair process. We not only take care of filing the claim but can direct your driver to a local repair shop, facilitate a rental vehicle, and handle all financial transactions, getting your driver back on the road as quickly as possible.
Prefer to source insurance on your own? Our collision management program will still cover the administrative tasks associated with the accident, including subrogation where necessary.
With our 75 years of unparalleled fleet management experience, we can give you peace of mind. Call us today to get started.
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