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Accident Investigation and Analysis

More people are killed in work related road accidents than in all other categories of occupational deaths put together.

With this in mind, it is very important that appropriate actions and investigations are undertaken following an incident. Accurate reporting, recording and subsequent analysis is key to understanding how and why an event happened, thus to initiating future preventative measures.

Incidents that need recording

For the purposes of post accident learning, there is value in reporting and recording centrally, all types of incidents, including 'near misses', however seemingly minor.

Even a low cost bumper scrape could be indicative that the driver would benefit from refresher training, or perhaps suggest a driver 'blind spot' that might next time lead to more serious consequences.

To achieve consistency in data collection, a standard Incident Recording Form should be utilised and sufficient blank copies kept together with the driver's handbook and stored within the vehicle. Centrally, the information is best collated using a computerised database.

Incident reporting

The driver's handbook should contain clear guidance about what to do and who to contact in the event of a motor accident.

The availability and use of a comprehensive Incident Recording Form will assist drivers to record all pertinent information including witness and third party insurance details etc.

Similarly, a simple Exchange of Information Form, will ensure that drivers comply with their legal obligation to supply certain driver, vehicle and insurer information to any person having reasonable grounds for so requiring.

If a camera or camera phone is available, the driver should photograph the incident location from a number of different directions and take pictures of any vehicles / property damaged. Road measurements may also be useful to record.

At no stage should a driver admit responsibility or make a statement regarding the incident (except to a police officer).

Incidents involving personal injury must be reported to local police within 24hrs and it is also necessary to notify police of damage to lampposts, telegraph poles, bollards, manhole covers, road signs or other public property. Remember a driver that fails to stop after an accident and fails to notify the other party or report matter to the police, is likely to face prosecution.

Claims under the insurance policy ought to be intimated as soon as possible to minimise the consequences, preserve corporate image and to contain fleet operating costs.

Incident Analysis

The great majority of motor incidents involve human error and as such are avoidable by one driver, or the other, or either. Further, in hindsight, it is often the case that effective management action could have prevented the occurrence altogether.

Aviva recommends that following every incident, the circumstances are thoroughly investigated, recorded and the driver interviewed by a manager. Usually there are lessons to be learnt.

Periodically, the information should be collated (by or at least engaging a senior manager) and any commonalities or trends identified and addressed.

The Post Incident Investigation Checklist is designed to provide managers with a framework around which to conduct a post incident investigation. The questions posed are intended to provoke reflective thought and to encourage preventative measures being taken to minimise future risk.

Factual details of the occurrence are best obtained using a standard Incident Recording Form.

Useful Motor Risk Templates are available for you to download free of charge - visit our ‘Tools and Templates' section.

For more information on useful products and services to help you manage your vehicles and drivers please view our Preferred Suppliers

For more information on Aviva Risk Solutions, please call 0345 3666666  or email us at riskadvice@aviva.com

Please Note
This document contains general information and guidance and is not and should not be relied on as specific advice. The document may not cover every risk, exposure or hazard that may arise and Aviva recommend that you obtain specific advice relevant to the circumstances. AVIVA accepts no responsibility or liability towards any person who may rely upon this document.

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