44+ Sample Accident Reports

What Is an Accident Report?

An accident report is the written documentation of an accident. It is used in various fields and its aim is mainly to give a systemic account of an incident in order to resolve any issues that may have resulted from the accident.  

According to recent statistics published by the National Safety Council, motor vehicle-related deaths were estimated to be at 3,760 in April 2021– establishing a 49% increase from the previous year. Further, the approximate cost of vehicular-related deaths, injuries, and damage to property was pegged at $150 billion in April 2021.

Types of Accident Reports

Accident reports are common in many fields. They are often standardized forms that need to be filled out by the persons involved or authority figures. The following examples are some scenarios where an accident report is often required: 

Workplace Injury: Workplace accidents are not uncommon. Depending on the nature of the industry, accidents may occur on site or while in the field. In cases like these, an accident report is required to help resolve any issues. Common issues that arise from accidents include safety and liability. To illustrate, take for example a construction worker who accidentally injures his leg due while working with heavy site equipment. The obvious thing for the construction company to do is to assist the laborer, who got the injury while on site. In order to help the injured worker, one of the first things to do is to issue an accident report so as to figure out the next steps. Vehicular Accidents: Auto accidents are common and some even have fatal consequences. One of the first things authorities need to do whenever there is a car or any vehicle-related incident, is furnish a report of what occurred. An accident report will not only help establish the facts, it will serve as important legal documentation– if things do escalate to that level. Which is why a clear and credible accident report is paramount. Campus or School Accident: Accidents that happen on campus are sometimes inevitable. These can range from petty accidents to serious and life-threatening incidents. Accidents are hard to foresee but can sometimes be preventable. A school’s main priority is always the safety of their students. When accidents happen, especially large-scale ones, school administrators typically launch investigations. Accident reports are just a part of the entire process. Accidents that are serious- like a hazing gone wrong or major campus theft- demand the right corrective measures. Machine Failure or Malfunction: When machinery and equipment break down, it can potentially disrupt operations. In some cases, if it takes too long to rectify, it can negatively affect productivity. This could set off a chain of events that will lead to poor or inadequate output in the workplace. Sometimes, when the malfunction is serious or it was caused by human error, an official report may be required to explain the accident. Property Damage: In instances where property is accidentally damaged, whether in the workplace or elsewhere, an accident report may be required. This is not just to uncover the facts and details of what occurred, but it is to help figure out who should be held accountable. For example, a group of students were playing sports in an open field on campus and one of the players accidentally knocked down school property. Because the damage was quite significant, an accident report is needed to document the details of what happened and recommend what consequences will be accorded.
 

Tips to Prevent Accidents

Obviously, accidents are part of regular life. Sometimes, they just happen and the only thing a person can do is learn from it and prevent it from happening again. However, there are several useful tips to keep in mind to lessen the likelihood of accidents and to prevent the inconveniences these accidents may bring.  

Always Have Awareness: Perhaps the one thing people can do better is to be more aware. This generally applies to all situations people may find themselves in. A keen sense of awareness of what is happening around you may help intercept and stop accidents from ever becoming too severe. If people were more mindful of their actions, accidents could be mitigated or even averted. Of course, you cannot control the people around you. But that does not mean you cannot do your part to contribute to a safe environment. Just being aware or observant of the things and events around is already a positive step forward. Follow Protocol: Obeying the rules may sound like an obvious tip but for others, actually internalizing this is quite difficult to do. Rules and guidelines are put in place for a reason. Especially in the workplace where the environment is more controlled, protocol should be respected. If the safety and wellbeing of others are at stake, then all the more should people follow and respect the law. This cannot be more emphasized in the time of a pandemic wherein one person’s poor decision or action may have disastrous results. If there is one simple way people can avoid accidents and hurting others unintentionally, it is by following and obeying the right rules and regulations. Ask Questions: Many people are guilty of being unsure of doing something but end up doing it anyway. This is not always a bad thing; but when there is something you do not understand or fully grasp, the wise thing to do would be to ask questions before proceeding to do it. Some people avoid asking others out of fear, shame, or sometimes even pride. The potential risk in doing so is that there may be unintended or harmful consequences from doing things the wrong way. So when in doubt, do not be afraid to seek clarifications or to ask for help if it is available. Implement Strict Guidelines: Safety is a priority in most companies and organizations. Implementing strict rules and guidelines is vital especially for high-risk work environments such as construction sites, shipyards, coal mines, oil rigs, etc. These areas are highly accident-prone and require stricter laws compared to other occupations. Further, safety officers are usually employed to enforce these rules and ensure that potentially hazardous situations are put under control. Promote Regular Reminders: Whether it is on the field, office, construction site, school, or even at home, keeping regular reminders around may help foster a safer environment and promote situational awareness. This can be achieved through conducting orientations, frequent safety seminars, and putting up easily identifiable posters or infographics around the area. For example, food safety is paramount for the hospitality industry and food business. Putting up signs and regular reminders around the kitchen and other key areas can help staff internalize the different safety practices.

How to Create an Accident Report

Making an accident report requires specific information and clear objectivity. You can opt to create one yourself but if it’s convenience you’re after, use an existing template above and simply customize it to your liking. Follow the steps below to ensure your report is effective and meets quality standards: 

Step 1: State the Basic Information

If you are tasked to fill out an accident report, start by indicating your name and other basic information. These usually include the date and location of the accident, the time it occurred, your complete address and contact number. Most agencies and companies use standard forms and all the person needs to do is fill in the correct information. If law enforcement is involved, providing accurate contact information is important in gathering witness statements or accounts.   

Step 2: Decide on a Format

Accident reports may vary in form and version. Companies and agencies have the free hand to decide on the format of the report. Some accident reports come in questionnaire forms or contain multiple lines and adequate space to accommodate detailed explanations. Keep your audience in mind when crafting your accident form. Do you want a simple form? Or do you want it to be more detailed with checkboxes and fixed questions? 

Step 3: Properly Identify Key Characters

Writing accident reports, like police reports, is practicing good storytelling. Who were the key people involved? Not only should there be a clear account of what happened, the persons or characters involved should be described in detail as well. In the case of a car accident, a good report includes specific details of the driver of the vehicle as well as the victim or victims of the accident. Another common example would be a work-related incident. If an employee gets into an accident while on duty or on site, a good report would include not just the side of the employee but other people who were at the scene- such as witnesses or co-workers.    

Step 4: Be Specific with Details

Avoid being too vague. A good and effective accident report is one that is specific and contains a good amount of details. To illustrate, do not just mention in the report that you saw a car; describe the vehicle and try to recall precise information about the car. This information is more useful to authorities than just a broad statement. Perhaps the most fundamental information you need to include in an accident report is the time and location of the incident. Those two details are vital in order to create a timeline of events and also to set the tone of the investigation, should there be a need for it.        

FAQs

How do you write an accident report?

To write an effective accident report, accurate information should always be top of mind. Any falsehoods or fabricated stories will only worsen the situation. The aim of an accident report is to get to the bottom of the situation and establish the truth. Creating an accident report requires striking a delicate balance between descriptive language and objective storytelling. Make sure to lay down all the basic information and identify the people involved in the incident. Include any relevant details. The more specific the information, the better your report will turn out.

What is an accident report form?

An accident report form is a standard form that different institutions and companies use to record and document an accident. Formats may vary across agencies. Others prefer questionnaire forms while other reports may come in survey or freestyle versions. Regardless of format, an accident report should allocate enough space for narratives and explanations.

What is the use of an accident report?

An accident report is important because it helps promote the pursuit of truth and the establishment of facts- which is why an accurate account is crucial. Accidents are sometimes inevitable and a clear recollection of the incident is useful, particularly in instances where harm was inflicted on any person, pet, or property. The report is used to corroborate different testimonies and hold the right people accountable.

Accident and incident reports are one of the most universally used forms. Accurate and quality reports have the potential to uncover the truth and even bring justice. It is for that very reason that accident reports should always be sound and credible. Easily create your own report by using any of the sample templates above!