Witnessed a Car Accident? Here’s What to Do
Staying calm in an emergency situation is easier said than done because it seems to go against every fiber of your being and immediate reactions your brain is firing.
But, a calm response is what emergencies and those involved need the most.
Although the level of trauma an emergency warrants may differ, following these tips from Geico.com writer Stephanie Levis will assist you in keeping your wits about you and a calm state of mind after witnessing a car accident.
Just like the airlines teach us to put our oxygen mask on first before assisting others, Levis also advises you to focus on your own safety; if you were en route when an accident occurred, pull over to the side of the road approximately 100 feet from the accident and activate your emergency lights. According to the experts at Green Flag, a top breakdown company in the United Kingdom, activating your hazard lights will effectively alert other cars to the current dangerous situation.
Call for help. According to Levis, it’s not a good idea to think someone else has called the authorities—make the call and provide the operator the details of what you just saw, the location, the number of people affected, as well as anything of importance.
Once you have determined 100 percent that you will not be in harm’s way by approaching the accident, Levis advises you can move toward the scene to assess the severity of the victims’ injuries and offer your help and reassurance that 911 has been notified and that help should be arriving soon.
“Unless there’s a risk of the vehicle catching fire, do not under any circumstances move an injured person,” stresses Levis.
For a minor accident when possible, Levis suggests putting the vehicles involved in the collision in “park” and turning off the ignition to reduce the chance of a fire igniting.
Finally, please supply the details of what you witnessed as well as your contact info to the authorities once they arrive on the scene.