Latest News

Guide to vehicle accident preventability and countermeasures

16 March 2022

This guide is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. It is provided for general informational purposes only. It broadly summarises acts and regulations applicable to employers. Readers should seek competent legal advice or opinion to address possible compliance requirements.

This guide is designed to provide transport workers and drivers with an introduction to the concepts of preventability analysis and accident countermeasures. These guidelines and discussion tools are designed to help hauliers and drivers look at their unique operations and practices with an eye to identifying opportunities to make safety improvements.

Determining Preventability

No two accidents are alike, but the heart of accident analysis is the same: determination of preventability. Each accident must be judged individually, based on the facts. Some types of accidents can be prevented by drivers, while others require changes in driving practices and policies or equipment. The types of accidents listed below do not cover every accident that may occur, and are intended to provide general guidance to assist in determining preventability.

Non-Preventable Accidents

Struck in Rear by Other Vehicle

Non-preventable if:

•             Driver’s vehicle was legally and properly stopped

•             Driver was proceeding in his/her own lane of traffic at a safe and lawful speed

•             Driver was stopped in traffic due to existing conditions or was stopped in compliance with traffic sign/signal or the directions of a police officer or other person legitimately controlling traffic

•             Driver was in proper lane waiting to make turn

Struck while Parked

Non-preventable if:

•             Driver was properly parked in a location where parking was permitted

•             Vehicle was stopped, parked or left standing in accordance with Sections 238-252 of The Highway Code

Preventable Accidents

Accidents at Junctions

Preventable if:

•             Driver failed to control speed so that he/she could stop within available distance

•             Driver failed to check cross-traffic and wait for it to clear before entering junction

•             Driver collided with person, vehicle or object while making right or left turn

•             Driver collided with vehicle making turn in front of him/her

Striking Other Vehicle in Rear

Preventable if:

•             Driver failed to maintain safe following distance and have his/her vehicle under control

•             Driver failed to keep track of traffic conditions and did not slow down

•             Driver failed to ascertain whether vehicle ahead was moving slowly, stopped or slowing down for any reason

•             Driver misjudged rate of overtaking

•             Driver came too close before pulling out to pass.

Guide to vehicle accident preventability and countermeasures