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Vehicle Accident Investigations

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.


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.

Sample Accident Investigation Report
(Click to enlarge)

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.

Another sample accident investigation report.

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

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.

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.

Forklift Accident


Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

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

2. At the scene of an accident, the investigator will typically do which of the following?

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

4. A preventable collision is one in which the driver _____.

Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.