The topic of high trucking insurance rates continue to come up in conversations I'm having. There are many things that could be done to stabilize the trucking insurance market, in Louisiana specifically. That will be a long post for another day.
One obvious issue are the 18 wheeler chasing attorneys. Their billboards are an eye sore. Their television advertisements are annoying. But obviously they're effective and bring in the persons whose moral compass is pointing the same direction. Sorry, I almost started on a rant there.
I'm writing this in hopes of creating awareness of how important it is for you (a trucking operation owner) to train and re-train your drivers on safety and accident avoidance. Furthermore, what to do in the event of an accident.
True Story Post Accident Excellence
One of our trucking partners was recently involved in an accident on a Friday night. There were no bodily injuries or vehicles that had to be towed, so the owner of the operation reached out to me early Saturday morning. Our driver was not at fault. He documented the accident very well. Multiple pictures were taken from multiple angles (before vehicles were moved). He also obtained a witness statement and their contact information. All this information was provided to me on Saturday. We documented the file and contacted the at fault parties insurance company on Monday. Short of dash cam footage, which we encourage every motor carrier to have, we had all supporting documentation needed.
All of this to say, several days later we received a call from an attorney "representing" the at fault driver. They were inquiring about our policy and looking to file a claim on behalf of their client. We promptly replied with our documentation, advising there was no claim filed. The at fault driver gave a very different story than what actually happened. The attorney paused with awkward silence, while reviewing the documentation. We never heard back from them after that correspondence. Without the driver documentation, we likely would have been forced to open a claim and let the insurance company attempt to fight it.
I praise that driver! Every trucking operation should have regular and routine safety meetings with their drivers. On road safety should always be discussed. But you also need to stay in their ear about documenting an accident.
3 Thing to Train Your Truck Drivers to do Post Accident
Based on our recent success fending off a truck chasing attorney - here are 3 THING TO TRAIN YOUR DRIVERS TO DO after an accident:
- Take as many pictures as possible from as many angles possible.
- Seek and document any possible witness. The more the better.
- Contact you and/or your insurance agent ASAP, regardless of how minor the accident may be.
I encourage you to have meaningful safety meetings with your drivers on a weekly basis. A little time and common sense training could save you big on your next insurance renewal. Also, dash cam dash cam dash cam! The best $200 investment you can make to protect your trucking operation from frivolous claims.