Things You Can Do After You’ve Witnessed A Car Accident

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car accident with emergency people investigating the scene

A lot of people will go through life without witnessing a car accident or will never even be involved in one but it’s important to know what things you can do after you’ve witnessed one.

The first thing that will happen with anyone is they go into panic mode and naturally anyone would feel scared, traumatized, and hoping that everyone involved is okay. Car accidents pose a risk to anyone that is one the road and can happen anywhere and at any time. So, if you witness a car accident and are caught at the scene, what are some things you can do to be as helpful as possible? We’ve got you covered.

Below you will find a few ways to help after you’ve witness a car accident:

Call 9-1-1 Immediately

Regardless if you or another bystander saw the car accident take place, you should always call 9-1-1 no matter what. It’s important to understand that some people will just drive by the accident and others who decide to stay may be worried about the people involved. So, with that being said, always call 9-1-1 first and then attend to those who have been injured. Depending on the severity of the accident, someone may need immediate medical attention and a simple phone call sometimes just can’t wait.

Did you know there is such a thing as the bystander effect? The bystander effect is the more people present at the scene of a car accident, the less likely someone will step up to help. Keep this in mind, if you ever are put in a situation where you have just witnessed an accident. Alway assume someone hasn’t called for help yet. That is always the best way to look at it.

Once you are on the phone with 9-1-1, limit your answers to important points about the accident including:

  • Location
  • How many people involved
  • Number of vehicles in the accident
  • Other road hazards that the accident may have caused

If you feel comfortable, help those involved

After you have called 9-1-1, evaluate the situation and see who needs attention. If you are not a doctor, off duty firefighter/ parametric, or police officer, it’s best to stick with first aid treatment only. If you are unsure what to do but want to help let the 9-1-1 operator remain on the phone with you to give you some guidance and help those who are injured the best you can.

You do not want to give care to anyone involved in the accident unless they’re in imminent danger. If you are a trained medical professional, you should attend to them and begin giving CPR, and the best treatment you can while waiting for paramedics to come.

Those who are injured but can walk after the accident should be directed to a safe place so those who are helping can check on those who are injured but may not be able to communicate that.

Don’t Confront The Person Who Caused The Accident

Even if the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident has no injuries, never confront them about the accident and why it happened. Some drivers after an accident can become frustrated and lash out. They could also ditch the scene because they are afraid of the repercussions of their actions regarding the accident.

A few things you can do at the scene of the accident are:

  • Jot down the license plate numbers of all vehicles involved
  • Take a few pictures of the damages
  • Get the make and model of each vehicle involved
  • Stay on the scene so you can give this info to authorities

Let Authorities Know What Happened

Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and those who weren’t involved but saw what happened could be crucial if an investigation is brought forth.

After the authorities and medical professionals arrive at the scene, things can get a little chaotic. Although there is a lot going on you should always stay and wait to speak with an officer about what you saw when the accident occurred. Always stick to the facts you know and be completely honest, even though it may be difficult to remember certain things that happened.

Some details police officers may ask you about the accident could include:

  • The direction the vehicles were going
  • Speed of each vehicle
  • How far apart were each of the vehicle involved
  • Did either driver run a red light or stop sign
  • Was either driver texting and driving or distracted
  • Did you witness either driver talking on the phone

You Did Your Part After The Car Accident 

When an accident occurs and you have witnessed everything happen so fast, you may feel like you weren’t much help while at the scene. Just dialing 9-1-1 alone could have saved a life. Attending to an injured child or family helped because you have managed to get them to a safe place. All of these things above are more than enough and it’s important to know that you did your best and you didn’t abandon the situation.

Auto Glass Doc cares about the safety of everyone on the road. Knowing what to do if you witness an accident while driving could save a life someday. Taking the time to educate yourself on these key factors can be the change for a family or someone who is hurt. 

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      Where can we reach you?

      Any additional information we should know about.