What is a Collision?
Anyone who is a safety manger or owns or drives a truck may become involved in a collision.
If your truck hits or comes into contact with something or someone or any property, then it’s a collision. A collision may or may not be a DOT reportable accident. But a collision is a collision is a collision.
If a vehicle you strike does not appear damaged, it is still a collision. Sometimes the extent of the damage may be hidden or not easy to see to the untrained eye, or people involved later feel injured and go to the emergency room for treatment.
Should I report it to the police?
While some jurisdictions have a certain dollar damage threshold for what is a reportable accident, it’s a good practice to report a collision for two reasons:
(1.) The final damage bill may be higher that originally estimated,
(2.) Failure to report the collision may be illegal and could result in a citation.
A conviction for “Leaving the scene of an accident” is a serious matter for a CDL driver under 383.51: Disqualification of drivers, that can result in a 1 to 3 year license suspension for a first a offense or a lifetime ban for a subsequent conviction.
Another situation that occasionally occurs is when someone else hits your truck and leaves. There may be no or little damage to your vehicle. It is possible the fleeing driver is unlicensed or under the influence and fears arrest. Once again, it is a good idea to be proactive and make a report to the police as to what happened.
Can I leave a note for/with the other driver?
A note is not a police report. A note can blow away or get lost. Someone else can cause greater damage and not leave a note. It is best to always contact the proper authorities.
I don’t want to get insurance involved and I would rather pay for the damage out of pocket.
If you don’t tell your insurance company about a collision because you’ve decided to handle it privately, if the person you hit later claims an injury, the insurance company might not protect you.
If you are uncertain about the correct course of action, consider checking with your insurance agent and asking them if you should file a claim or not.
In any case, always get as much information as possible at the scene from the other driver, and take photos of the scene and any damage. It’s always a good idea to keep an accident kit in each vehicle. Ask your insurance agent for help in putting together an accident kit.
Not every collision is serious, but when things go unreported, facts can become fuzzy and things can quickly tailspin out of control.
If your truck hits a person or property or another vehicle, it is a collision.
Have a policy requiring any collisions are reported to the proper authorities and channels.
Know your insurance company’s reporting requirements for collisions. Contact your agent if you need advice or more understanding of what you need to do.
Thank you for reading this.