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  • Writer's pictureFront Range Compliance

CMV Accident Protocol

In a perfect world, accidents wouldn't happen. However, we do not live in a perfect world and accidents happen every day. If you, or one of the drivers employed by your company are to get in an accident while driving a CMV there is a protocol you are supposed to follow.

Below is the accident protocol you are to follow, if you are able to. DO NOT put yourself in harms way to complete the protocol, however if you are able to get out and freely move around follow the instructions below.

Secure The Scene - Represent Your Company Well

Stop your vehicle, turn of the engine and setal brakes. Wear a high-visibility vest when moving around the scene.

Turn on your emergency flashers and do not move the vehicle until police authorize you to do so. Check for immediate dangers, both to yourself and others. Set your emergency warning signals and protect the scene. Do not allow anyone to use flares. Do not move any debris or adjust the scene in any way. Protect yourself and others.

Notify The Authorities - Call 911 and Then Your Company

Stay at the scene, be polite and courteous with authorities. Do not admit fault or apologize to officers or others involved in the accident. Have witness cards filled out and do required company paperwork. Be professional and helpful.

Only help victims if they are drowning or in danger of fire and/or burning.

Secure all company documents to include: shipping papers, inspection book, permit book, logbook, DVIR, annual inspection and all other documentation.

Cooperate with law enforcement at the scene and provide them and the others involved with your name and address, company name and address, and insurance information. Get all needed information quickly.

Document The Accident - Diagram & Take Lots of Photos

Diagram the scene. Show the direction of travel of each vehicle, the final resting place of each vehicle after the collision and any distinguishing landmarks at the scene. Audio record your thoughts on your smartphone.

Photograph the scene. Photograph the roadway from all angles. Move back along the roadway and photograph from your approach, then from the other vehicles approach to the scene. DO NOT take photos of victims. Be in direct communication with your safety manager or company representative throughout the entire process.

Make no statements to anyone regarding liability or who is in fault in the accident. Do not sign anything regarding responsibility for the accident. If hauling hazardous materials, follow appropriate protocol.

Secure your vehicle from the left and from further damage. Remain at the scene until all requirements are met and the enforcement officers allow you to leave. Be professional and represent your company well.


Make sure to check out our online DOT Training platform, DOT University! We currently are offering Reasonable Suspicion for Supervisors, Cargo Securement, Defensive Driving, and Pre/Post Trip Inspection. In the coming months, we plan on releasing Designated Employer Representative and Appendix A.

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