It is, unfortunately, a reality that many truckers are involved in accidents and in our first part of this article we spoke about the various ways you can take precautions, both from a safety and legal standpoint if you are.
The other reality is that just by the nature of your job and the fact that Truckers spend most of their lives on the road, that they are often the first on the scene of the accidents of others.
The following advice applies to this kind of situation and not all of it is compulsory by law but we must remember that, as Truckers, we usually represent either the company that employs us or our own business. Either way, we will gain both morally and in reputation if we take all these steps to try to assist others both physically and/or legally if we are witnesses.
Pull off the road
Whether you witness the accident or not and have already stopped, even if you think it may prevent the other vehicles still on the road from being run into, don’t stay in the road. It will just put your vehicle in danger of being hit.
Pull off the road, turn you hazard lights on and place your hazard warning signs (you should always be carrying at least 2 of these in your vehicle) in the middle of the road at a good distance apart to ensure oncoming traffic cannot run into the other vehicles.
Call for help
Even as you run to the scene to survey the situation call your cell emergency service or 10111 to get the authorities to the scene ASAP. If you have a medical kit in your vehicle take it with you.
Assist medically – only if you can
If you see that anyone is badly injured do not move them unless they are in great danger if not moved. Immediately call for an ambulance. Only assist with basic medical assistance or CPR if you have taken any sort of first aid or a CPR course. We strongly advise that, due to the nature of their work, all Trucking companies should arrange for basic first aid and CPR courses for Drivers.
Comfort any injured people as best you can – remember shock is almost always the first response in an accident so give a blanket to a badly injured person and try to calm all parties – don’t get involved in arguments about how it happened. Be the calming influence.
Stay on the scene
Even if you didn’t witness the accident, but were the first to arrive, your testimony could be very important from a legal standpoint and in this way you can assist with the correct assessment of the accident and ensure justice is done.
If you are the only one able to do anything, while you wait for help take photographs of the scene with your phone. These too can be invaluable evidence. Stay on the scene until help arrives and honestly answer whatever questions the authorities may have.
The Great Trucking manufacturer that assists where we can
FAW South Africa is a company that build trucks in South Africa for Africa. We have all our Trucking companies’ and their Drivers’ best interests at heart and we hope these advice pieces are helpful to both. Watch this space for more great Trucking advice regularly.
Our range of brand new and premium pre-owned Freight Carriers, Truck Tractors, Tippers and Mixers all with extensive warranties and 24/7 backup service are the pride of many of our countries top Trucking, logistics and contracting firms, so contact us today to talk about your special requirements or directly find a dealership near you.
Stay alert on the road and always stay safe!