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Supporting drivers involved in a road traffic incident

Risk & Analytics|Risk Management Consulting
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By Andrew Millinship | September 21, 2021

This insight discusses the aftermath of a traffic incident and areas where you, as employers, can support your employees.

For most drivers, being involved in a road traffic incident is still a rare occurrence and, in part, this is the reason why the effects of such an event can be hidden and concerning. Below we look at some key areas and recommend guidance on how you can support your employees in the event of a road traffic incident.

At the scene

Immediately following the incident, the human body will try to protect us, which means that all the procedural items we need to do at the scene may get confused and challenged.

What to do

  • Prioritise safety. This should be the first item on any employer issued procedures or guidance documentation, making sure all those involved are safe and are able to be in a safe place.
  • Procedures and guidance documentation should have a logical step by step process.
  • Ensure procedures and guidance documentation is clear in terms of the questions the driver needs to answer, or the information to be obtained.
  • Make sure that contact points for claims handlers, fleet management and vehicle recovery are included and up to date.

Managing the aftermath

Regardless of the nature and severity of the incident most drivers suffer from an element of shock. This could be immediate or delayed, invisible or clear to see, from changes in behaviour or even appearance.

The levels of shock can precipitate from the brain replaying the incident and initial thoughts commencing with “why did this happen to me” transitioning to how fortunate the person was not to be more severely injured can present a reaction to delayed shock.

How can you help the driver and protect the business?

  • Consider carefully how the driver feels after the incident. Contact the driver and talk to them, not just once but on several occasions if necessary.
  • How do they now feel about driving?
  • What support does the driver feel they need?
  • Is taking time off an area to discuss?
  • Discuss other avenues of support that can be provided – counselling may help – what does the driver need?
  • Is a driving assessment necessary prior to them reengaging in the driving role?

While drivers are not involved in incidents on a daily basis, employers may wish to consider if they provide sufficient adequate training for drivers to enable them to know how to keep safe at the scene of an incident, what to do and why.

Continuing to prevent incidents occurring in the first place is the right approach but if an incident does happen, we need to make sure all the right steps are in place to support the driver as they manage the challenges of the aftermath.

How can Willis Towers Watson assist?

Both our Transport Risk and Health and Wellbeing Practices can support you in making sure that both at the scene and post incident, the processes and procedures in place are appropriate and include all the actions necessary.

Author

Risk Management Executive – Transport Risk

Contact

Letitia Rowlin
Risk Partner - Health & Wellbeing

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