When you are on the road, you need to pay attention to traffic. In some cases, you could witness an accident involving other drivers. What should you do? Your first instinct might be to drive away and forget about what you saw. However, you need to put yourself in the other drivers’ position. You want to help out and give some assistance to those involved in the accident.
If you are a good citizen, you can stop your vehicle and provide some assistance. However, good intentions could make the situation worse for all of those involved in the accident. With a few tips, your actions can help to ensure the safety of others and provide the best information to law enforcement. Here are the top five steps you should take after witnessing an accident on the road.
1 – Get Out of Harm’s Way
If you just witnessed a car accident, you should pull off to a safe area before attempting to help anyone. After an accident, there could be coolant, metal debris, broken glass, and leaking fuel around the vehicles. You also need to watch out for passing cars. Make sure to stay about 100 feet from the accident scene and turn on your hazard lights.
Along with that, keep a far distance to provide room for emergency personnel to reach the vehicles. If the cars are smoking, move everyone away from the area. This could be an indication that the vehicles will explode.
2 – Dial 911 and Provide Details
When there is an accident, you need to contact emergency personnel right away. You should never assume that others have called for help. The drivers may be shaken up from the experience or are unable to call the police. Make sure to call 911 and explain the situation to the operator calmly. You can provide your contact information, the location of the accident, the number of vehicles involved in the accident, and if there are possible injuries.
You always want to stay calm and collected. This is not a time to panic. With a detailed description, operators can dispatch the appropriate emergency services. You will be offering aid to those who might not be able to reach out to 911.
3 – Check the Victims
It is also important to stay calm on the scene. You should walk over to the involved vehicles and check on the accident victims. Make sure to check the backseat for any infants or small children. You will want to ask the drivers to place the car into “park” and turn off the ignition. It is not your responsibility to determine fault at the accident scene, but you need to focus on the safety of all the involved parties.
If there is a fire risk, you need to try to get everyone away from the scene. However, you should not attempt to move a person who is injured. You can provide comfort and reassure them until medical personnel arrives on the scene. If the person has significant injuries and you move the individual, it can lead to additional harm. Unfortunately, some people may file a lawsuit, which could lead to you being held responsible for causing injuries.
If there is no danger, you might be able to assist in other ways, such as:
- Offer your mobile phone to the victims. They may be able to call their loved ones and friends to let them know about the accident.
- Ask to take pictures of the damage and write down details of the accident.
- Give some comfort to the accident victims, especially if children have been involved.
4 – Speak To the Police
Whether you were involved in a car accident or just witnessed it, this situation can be very upsetting. You need to stay on the scene and wait for the police. When they arrive, you can let the officer know that you are a witness to the accident. In some cases, witnesses can help to diffuse any tense situation, especially if the driver’s reckless behavior caused the accident.
You want to provide law enforcement with a relevant and honest account of the details that led to the accident. You don’t want to accuse anyone of causing the accident. In some instances, that could lead to a backlash towards you. It is the officer’s job to investigate the accident. You should also provide the officer with your name and contact information.
When medical personnel shows up, let them know if anyone needs assistance. By speaking to the police and other authorities, you want to make sure that you are completely truthful about the accident.
5 – Make Yourself Available for a Later Interview
After you have provided your statement and other details, you might be contacted at a later date. Insurance adjusters, police officers, and medical authorities could call to ask you to recount the incident. You always want to honestly and factually explain what you observed at the time of the accident.
With these tips, you can safely assist those drivers and passengers involved in an accident. It is always great to act as a responsible witness on the scene of the accident. You never know, but someone might repay the favor for you.
Need an Auto Body Shop Near Me?
If you have been involved in an accident, it can be a stressful time. First, you need to make sure everyone is safe from the incident. After that, you can find a professional body shop for your vehicle. A reliable auto body shop will expertly repair your vehicle as its technicians restore the car’s appearance. With that, your vehicle will look as good as new as you remain safe on the road.
Elmer’s Auto Body is committed to getting your vehicle back on the road. We have the latest technology to handle all types of repairs. Our customers love our service, and we have the professional certifications to ensure your car is in the right hands. Along with that, we have taken the latest safety procedures to keep you safe during the pandemic. If you want to schedule a consultation, please call our shop at (856) 218-0202.