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Safety and Accident Review Committee Guidelines for

Determining the Preventability of an Accident

The Safety and Accident Review Committee will use criteria that have been established by the National Safety Council to determine the preventability o an accident.

A preventable accident is deemed as one in which the driver did not do everything reasonable to avoid it.  A non-preventable accident is one in which the driver did everything he or she could do to prevent it.  In order to clarify what is and is not preventable, the National Safety Council has prepared the following list of preventable accidents:


It is the responsibility of professional drivers to approach, enter, and cross intersections prepared to avoid accidents that might occur through the action(s) of the other drivers.  Complex traffic movement, blind intersections, or failure of the other driver to conform to law or traffic control devices will not automatically discharge an accident as no-preventable.

The operator’s failures to take precautionary measures prior to entering the intersection are factors to be studied in making a decision.

Vehicle Ahead of the Bus

Whether or not a vehicle ahead makes an abrupt or unexpected stop, the operator can prevent rear-end collisions by maintaining a safe following distance at all times.  The operator can be prepared for possible obstructions of the highway, either in plain view or hidden by the crest of a hill or the curve on a roadway.

Overdriving headlights at night is a common cause of rear-end collisions.  Night speed should not be greater than that which will permit the vehicle to come to a stop within the forward distance illuminated by the vehicle’s headlights.

Vehicle Behind the Bus

Investigation often discloses that drivers risk being struck from behind by failing to maintain a margin of safety in his/her own following distance.  Rear-end collisions preceded by a roll-back, an abrupt stop a a grade crossing, when a traffic signal changes, or when a driver fails to signal a turn at  an intersection, should be charged preventable. Failure to signal intentions or to slow down gradually should be considered preventable.

Unusual Locations

When a driver is expected to make pick-ups or drop-offs at unusual locations on driveways not built to support heavy commercial vehicles, it is his/her responsibility to discuss the operation with the transportation management and to obtain permission prior to entering the area.

Passenger Accidents

Passenger accidents in any type of vehicle are preventable when they are caused by faulty operation of the vehicle.  Even if the incident did not involve a collision o f the vehicle, it must be considered  preventable when the driver stops, turns, or accelerates abruptly.

08/01/03Safety and Accident Review Committee Guidelines1/1

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