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Vehicle Accident Investigations

image of accident

Accident Investigation Policy

Your company should fully investigate any accident involving company personnel and vehicles. All accidents involving a company vehicle regardless of the severity should be reported immediately.

The investigation of minor accidents involving company property may be the responsibility of the driver and supervisor only.

The Safety Manager may be in charge of the investigation of accidents involving serious property damage or death to an employee has occurred.

The Safety Manager may also be in charge of accident investigations in which a third party is involved. Management should initiate any other investigations deemed appropriate.

1. All accidents involving a company vehicle should be reported immediately regardless of _____ .

a. severity
b. probability
c. liability
d. responsibility

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Accident Investigators

At the scene, the accident investigator will carefully survey the scene, take measurements, and note the position of any debris from the accident. The investigator will also take photos of the scene, with careful notes of what the photos depict. A sketch or map of the site will be drawn to scale, with any landmarks near the scene noted as to position.

See Course 702 for more information on accident investigation procedures.

2. At the scene of the accident, the investigator should do all of the following EXCEPT _____.

a. take initial measurements
b. take photographs
c. determine liability
d. make sketches of the accident scene

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image of accident

Documenting the Accident

The more accurate the information about the accident provided is, the easier it is to get at the root causes of the accident. It is important that the accident investigator(s) be as objective as possible in gathering and evaluating data from the accident scene.

Download a Sample Driver's Accident Report.

Download a Sample Investigation Report Form.

3. The more accurately the accident information is provided, the easier it is to get at _____.

a. the surface causes
b. who caused the accident
c. the root causes
d. the corrective actions

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Driver Responsibility in Accident Investigation

Certain driver responsibilities must be carried out at the scene of an accident.

The two main concerns at the scene of an accident are:

  • to deal with immediate problems
  • to gather and report pertinent accident information promptly

4. When an accident occurs, the driver is responsible for _____.

a. dealing with immediate problems and gather information
b. waiting for a company representative
c. withholding any information that might be damaging
d. taking photographs and begin the investigation

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When the Accident Occurs


These two items can be broken down into a 6-step accident procedure for drivers to follow.

Step 1: Stop, stay calm

Step 2: Turn on your emergency flashers as an immediate warning signal. Then do a quick evaluation of accident victims, if any, and provide assistance. Next, set out emergency warning devices on the roadway.

Step 3: Either contact local law enforcement personnel and your supervisor yourself or arrange to have someone do it for you. Be courteous and cooperative when providing information to authorities. Never admit guilt or liability at the scene of an accident. Never leave the scene of an accident.

Step 4: Write down names, license numbers and other information regarding the accident and those people involved in it. Draw a simple diagram of the accident scene. The more detail you can provide, the better it will be for insurance and/or legal purposes later. If you have a camera for use at the accident scene, document the situation with photographs from various angles.

Step 5: After the vehicle has been secured, warning devices put in place, assistance rendered to injured person(s) (if any), and law enforcement personnel contacted, you (the driver) should communicate the accident to your supervisor.

Step 6: Complete Vehicle Accident Report Form at the scene of the accident.

5. After the vehicle has been secured, warning devices put in place, assistance rendered to the injured persons (if any), and law enforcement personnel contacted, the driver should _____.

a. write down license plate numbers and other information
b. communicate the accident to a supervisor
c. complete the accident report form
d. stop and stay calm

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Vehicle Accident Review

The Safety Manager should review all vehicle accidents to determine the true cause and whether it was preventable or non-preventable. A preventable collision is one in which the driver failed to do all that could be reasonably expected of them to avoid the collision.


The functions of the safety committee in reviewing vehicle collisions are as follows:

  1. Convene as soon as possible after a collision involving a company vehicle to objectively consider the evidence presented. This evidence includes any information given by the driver, his or her supervisor and the police report of the accident. These same rules also apply to any employee officially authorized to drive his or her personal car on official company business.
  2. Determine the true cause of the collision and whether it was preventable or non-preventable.
  3. Review the driver's past driving record.
  4. Report in writing to Management the Committee's findings, and the recommendations for corrective action.
  5. In the case of a preventable ruling, schedule a personal one-to-one meeting with the driver to discuss the decision, possible remedial training, and/or possible disciplinary action. This meeting will be scheduled as soon as possible after the preventability determination has been made.

6. A preventable collision is one in which the driver failed to _____.

a. do all that could be reasonably expected
b. anticipate and act prior to the accident
c. predict and react to the accident
d. pay adequate attention to road conditions

Check your Work

Read the material in each section to find the correct answer to each quiz question. After answering all the questions, click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to grade your quiz and see your score. You will receive a message if you forgot to answer one of the questions. After clicking the button, the questions you missed will be listed below. You can correct any missed questions and check your answers again.


Forklift Accident

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