Accidents are a part and parcel of managing a large and active fleet, and is something that fleet managers and operators should be ready for at all times. Apart from affecting the safety, security and morale of drivers, accidents can be fairly disruptive to modern fleets, requiring substantial time and effort to assess the situation, investigate, and deal with the legal issues that are set to arise.

Being largely inevitable in this business, fleet managers and operators should focus on developing an appropriate response system for dealing with such events, with the objective of maximising driver and vehicle safety, followed by minimal disruptions to operations, in this exact order.

In this article, we will guide you through certain standard procedures and best practices to deal with this effectively.

Stay Calm & Assess The Situation

The first thing to do in such cases is to stay calm and assess the situation on hand, by getting in touch with the driver, passenger, or other parties on the ground. Once you’ve ascertained the safety and wellbeing of all the parties, you can then call 911 to report any injuries.

If it was a minor accident, and there are no injuries, you can take down the details and then file a report with the police at a later point in time once all the facts are clear.

Document The Accident

Following the initial response, it is then time to gather and document as much information regarding the incident as possible. This includes the names and contact details of all the parties involved, along with the make and model of the vehicles, and the details of any witnesses, along with their statements.

Make sure to take extensive photographs of the accident scene, along with any skid marks, and damages incurred by the vehicles and other property. It is also recommended to record the road, traffic, and weather conditions at the time of the accident.

Notify The Relevant Parties

Once you’ve gathered all the relevant information, it’s time to inform the relevant parties, including the insurance company, the police, and other relevant stakeholders.

It is also recommended to keep your fleet management software provider in the loop, as they might help in managing and fast-tracking the claims process.

Have A Lawyer On Retainer

Most large fleet owners and companies have in-house counsel to deal with accidents and the various legal issues that come with the same. Smaller fleets can have experienced car accident attorneys on retainer, as part of the best practices recommended by

Experienced legal counsel will help take the matter forward, and after going through your initial findings, they can help in investigating further to ascertain where the blame lies, along with ways in which legal claims can be avoided by the company.

Conduct A Thorough Investigation

In order to understand the true cause of the accident, while also minimizing such risks in the future, it is essential to conduct a thorough internal investigation. This includes going through the vehicle’s maintenance records, drivers logs, and other relevant documentation in search for anything that may point towards the actual cause.

Once the cause is arrived at, the necessary preventative measures can be taken to minimize such incidents in the future. The outcome of the investigation can be used to review and update the fleet’s policies and procedures accordingly.


Accidents are often an inevitable part of fleet management, and the only way to deal with them is by preparing for them. With clear policies, procedures, and communications, an accident shouldn’t result in any major harm to personnel, customers, drivers, or operations.