Unscheduled Maintenance - Breakdowns, Accidents and Towing

What happens if the vehicle breaks down?

During business hours please call the main Fleet Management phone number 301-496-4511 and describe the situation and your location to our on-duty staff.  For after-hours situations like running out of gas, locking keys in the car, or getting a flat tire and needing the spare put on, consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual for the roadside assistance toll-free number and contact the vehicle manufacturer’s roadside assistance program to see if the vehicle is still covered (vehicles less than 5 years old are usually still covered under manufacturer programs)—you will need to have the vehicle’s VIN number handy when calling.  Another potential alternative would be using a private auto club such as AAA if the Motor Pool customer happens to be a member of a private auto club.  If a tow truck is required, Milestone Towing (301-330-1614) can be contacted to retrieve the vehicle and transport it back to NIH or to our contracted maintenance facility Rockville Auto.  If the customer is using a commercial rental vehicle instead of a government-owned HHS-tagged vehicle, contact the rental company’s 1-800 number for roadside assistance.


What happens if I am in an accident in my agency assigned vehicle?

Immediately assess the scene for injuries and contact 911 for emergencies or 311 for non-injury accidents.  Don’t admit any fault when speaking with the other person involved, just trade contact and insurance information.  Annotate the other person’s insurance policy information on the SF91 accident form located in an envelope in the vehicle’s glove compartment or center console.  As far as information to provide to the other driver, the government is self-insured and the contact # for claims against NIH is 301-496-2387.  Obtain any witness statements using the SF94 or plain bond paper.  The driver should contact the IC’s supervisor to report the accident and relay the situation to the on-duty Fleet Management staff at 301-496-4511 so a damage assessment can be done, and a tow-truck can be requested if needed.  The driver should also take pictures of the accident scene and pictures of the vehicle damages.  Lastly the driver should make sure to get an Incident # from the Police and annotate this on the SF91.  All accident documentation then needs to be promptly scanned and emailed to Fleet Management by sending to matthew.fortier@nih.gov .