Tow truck driving is not necessarily the safest job out there. The road is a dangerous place. It’s not necessarily fun to think about, but you need to be prepared for what to do if you’re in a car crash. Your actions right after the wreck can make a big difference if it comes to a lawsuit. Besides, knowing what to do and being prepared can help you stay calm and handle the situation.
Here are eight things you need to do if you’re in an accident.
1. Do your best to stay calm.
Of course, being in a car crash is extremely stressful and nerve-wracking. But try to stay calm and try not to panic. It’s completely understandable that you would be shaken, but try to stay professional and focus on what you need to do in the wake of the accident.
2. Don’t flee from the scene.
You have to stop at the scene of the accident. You cannot flee the scene or leave to avoid the repercussions. Wait until a police officer instructs you to move. If there’s a roadway sign that tells you to move somewhere safe, you can follow it.
3. Don’t admit fault for the accident.
Even if you feel responsible for the accident, do not admit fault. Remember that even saying “I’m sorry” could be construed as admitting fault in court.
Don’t talk about the accident with anyone other than the police and the appropriate people from your company. Again, this is important in case you end up having to appear in court.
4. Secure the scene of the accident.
You need to do what you can to safely secure the scene of the accident. If you fail to secure the scene it could be a liability risk.
Turn your tow truck’s hazard lights on to make yourself visible. Then place reflectors on the road to warn oncoming drivers – and hopefully encourage them to move over, slow down, and pay attention. Place the first reflector then feet behind the truck and a second one about 100 feet behind the tow truck. The third should go 100 feet in front of the scene (if you’re on a road that is not a divided highway) or 100 feet behind the second (if you are on a divided highway.)
5. Call emergency services.
Make sure someone has called 911 and told the police about the wreck. Convey if there are any injuries or hazards at the scene.
If someone is hurt, do not move them unless they are in immediate danger. They could have injuries you can’t see, or you could make their injuries worse. It’s probably best to wait for emergency personnel. If someone seems like they’re in shock, offer a blanket and try to keep them calm and warm.
6. Tell your employer about the accident.
You’ve got to tell your company about the wreck. Notify the proper person at your business.
7. Document necessary details.
You will need to record the information of everyone involved in the accident, the passengers included. Get their names, addresses, insurance information, phone numbers, and license plate numbers.
Be sure to get information from the witnesses, too. Try to get their names, addresses, phone numbers, and license plates in they’re willing to provide them. But don’t be aggressive about it. Try not to do or say anything that could be interpreted as you trying to manipulate the witness or their version of events.
8. Photograph everything (if it’s safe to do so.)
Photographs are very helpful for filing tow truck insurance claims. Photos can also be helpful if you face a lawsuit. Take pictures from different angles, and photograph all sides of the vehicles. Get images of all of the cars involved in the accident, even if there doesn’t appear to be major damage (or even any damage.)
Don’t forget to photograph your truck, too – if you have physical damage insurance, photos can help you file the claim and get your truck repaired. You also may want to try to get a photo of the whole accident too, if you can.
Now, we understand that the idea of being involved in a wreck is unsettling and scary. But it’s important to be prepared. Knowing what to do in the event of a crash can help you stay calm and level-headed, although we hope that you’ll never have to use these tips and that you’ll never experience an accident.
If you want to save money on your tow truck insurance, we’ve got some good news. Our team of tow truck insurance experts can help you shop for your rates and get the best coverage for the best price. All you have to do to get started with some quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.