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Reprinted with permission of The Truckers Report. Written by Edward Green - See original article
When you drive a semi truck, you will spend many hours on the road, whether you drive a local route, or if you drive trucks across the country. Some drivers work on a freelance basis finding their own clients while others work for a trucking company. There are strict guidelines about how you operate your truck, the number of hours you spend on the road before taking breaks and regular maintenance. These are all in place to prevent accidents. However, sometimes accidents do happen, and often it is not the fault of the truck driver. It is important to be prepared before you get in an accident so that you clearly know what to do and how to respond.
They can bring the emergency help you need, and it will protect you after the accident is over. You should understand basic first aid training and try not to move anyone unless there is a danger of fire or further injury if the people who are injured stay where they are. You can use pressure to help stop bleeding. Once the authorities arrive, you should allow them to take over the medical care of each patient.
If you are carrying cargo that is dangerous or can damage the environment, you need to know the protocol of preventing spills, and what you need to check for to make sure it is not damaged. You may want to use flares to help oncoming traffic avoid the area where the accident until everything can be cleaned up. This may also help to prevent future accidents. The authorities will likely set up a better roadblock once they arrive and begin to clean up the accident.
Your employer may want you to call them, and then they will call the insurance agency for you. If you are working as a freelance driver, you need to make sure that you carry enough insurance to cover the loads you carry as well as an injuries and damage that may happen as a result of the accident. You need enough insurance to protect you if you are sued. Your employer will work with sending you a new rig or someone to pick up the goods if they are not damaged and have the delivery completed on time.
This will likely include a review of your mile and rest logs, as well as current road conditions. You may want to snap a few photos of the accident scene in case the insurance agency wants to use them as part of the process. Your company may have specific policies about driving after an accident. Depending on the seriousness of the accident, you may have to have your CDL qualification reviewed. The best way to avoid losing your license is to work with the officers at the scene of the accident and willingly subject yourself to the blood and alcohol tests that they may decide to administer. As long as you are following the laws of the road and the regulations set forth for the trucking industry, you should be okay.
Here is more information on dealing with a semi truck accident:
Tags: Truck Drivers Traffic Accident Procedures Training, CDL Truck Driver After Accident Plan, Trucker Instructions for Truck Crashes, What To Do If You Get In A Truck Wreck, Edward Green Truck Driving Article