You’ve probably heard a lot about what to do if you get in a car accident, but do you know what to do if you’re a witness of a major accident? Your next steps can have a huge impact on the outcome of the accident. Read on to learn about how you can help if you ever find yourself in this situation.
- Call 911: This is the first step in any emergency. Be sure to tell the operator your exact location and that you’re a witness of a car accident, and answer their questions on any details. This will get police and necessary medical and fire personnel on the scene as soon as possible.
- Keep yourself safe: Be careful when trying to help out with the accident. Pull over safely in a safe location, at least 100 feet from the site of the accident. Do not approach fire, broken glass, leaking gas, or any other hazards, even if there’s an injured party. You do not want to become another victim. Also, stay calm. Panicking can make a situation worse, and upset an injured person.
- Check on the people, but don’t rescue: Do not attempt to administer medical treatment, and never attempt to remove a person from a vehicle. You could put yourself in danger, and further injure the person. Wait for authorities to arrive. However, if the scene is safe and the passenger is injured, you should stay with the persons and reassure them verbally while waiting for help to arrive.
- Alert oncoming traffic: Many accidents involve disabled vehicles still in the road, and can cause another accident if oncoming motorists doesn’t see the crash in time. Put your hazard and head lights on, and use cones or flares if they are available.
- Be available for a statement: Law enforcement, medical personnel and insurance companies may need a witness account to help with the investigation. Stay at the scene in case you need to make a comment, and give your contact information to law enforcement should they need to contact you further.