By: Jeremy Johnson & Clarice Spicker
In a time where companies are getting better at documenting and keeping track of incidents, we are faced with a dilemma in the trucking field with these incident reports pinning the driver, and ultimately the company, to often incorrect facts and words that are fueled by emotions.

Picture this: It’s 3:00 in the morning. You are the Safety Director of a medium sized trucking company. You get a call from dispatch reporting that a driver was involved in a serious accident involving a fatality. Depending on the company’s policies and procedures, you most likely call an independent adjuster to head to the scene and/or head to the scene yourself. After the police release your driver from the scene and you have them undergo the required DOT post-accident drug screen, you ask your driver to complete an incident report. Your company’s policy, like many others in the industry, is to have its drivers fill out an incident report after they are involved in an accident with injuries while on the job. By now, it is close to 9:00 in the morning and your driver has been awake for over twenty hours. The last six hours were spent talking to police officers and watching emergency responders use the jaws of life to pry open what remains of the other cars involved in the accident. Your driver fills out a statement that reads as follows: “I was driving about 73 mph on the highway when traffic stopped in front of me-I tried to stop as fast as I could-I slammed on my brakes and skidded-but I could not stop in time and hit the vehicle in front of me. I can’t believe I killed them. I am tired and do not feel like writing this right now.”

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