Truck crashes: a step-by-step guide

Traffic collisions can unsettle any trucker, no matter how experienced. Having a solid accident response plan is the best way to prevent further damage and injuries and ensure everyone’s safety until emergency responders arrive. Here’s a step-by-step guide for what do to in case of a crash.

1. Stop. Even if the accident seems minor, there’s no way to know for sure unless you stop and exit your truck. This is the only way to assess the damage to your rig and to the other vehicles involved. If you’re transporting hazardous materials, driving on could be extremely dangerous. 

2. Turn on your hazard lights. Before stepping out of the truck, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that there’s been an incident. This way, they’ll steer clear and give you enough room to inspect the damage and check on the other drivers.

3. Move out of the way, if possible. Move out of the way of oncoming traffic, provided you’re able to do so safely. If such a manoeuvre seems dangerous, don’t. Your priority is to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

4. Check on other drivers and passengers. Once you’ve stopped and turned on your hazard lights or moved to a safe spot, exit the cab and check on the other people involved in the accident. Make sure nobody is seriously injured.

5. Call 911. Even if there aren’t any serious injuries, your next step should be to call the police. Traffic collisions sometimes cause injuries that aren’t immediately apparent. In addition, everyone should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

6. Set up emergency signals. Once emergency responders are on the way, set up things like warning triangles if you have them. This further ensures that everyone is safe until help arrives.

7. Inspect your rig. While you wait for help, make sure your truck and its cargo are in good shape. This is especially important if you’re transporting hazardous materials.

8. Report the incident. Contact your insurance company or, if applicable, your employer to report the incident.

9. Don’t assign blame. Don’t try to determine who was at fault. There are more important things for everyone to worry about.

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To ensure you receive a solid education, trust the instructors at North Shore Driving School. We offer programs to people living on the Lower Mainland, including Coquitlam, Richmond and Vancouver. Contact us today to find out how we can help you get your Class 1 licence or polish off your truck driving skills.

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