At some point in your life, you will likely encounter a car accident. You may see it happen, or you may come upon the crash after it has happened. Some people will simply drive by an accident, assuming someone else will help. Others will rush in, trying to get everyone out of the vehicles as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, neither response is necessarily the best choice. There are several things, though, that you can do to help those involved in a car accident.
- If people appear to be injured, call 911. If you are driving, it is best to have a passenger make the call or to pull off on the side of the road to make the call. Do not assume someone else will call. If there did not appear to be anyone helping after a crash, if possible, go back to help them.
- If you witnessed the accident, try to find a place where you can pull off the road safely. As a witness, you might be able to provide a valuable account of the accident. If you were walking, stick around to provide an account of the accident.
- Unless the person’s life is in danger (for example, a car that is on fire or which is sinking in the water), do not try to move anyone who is injured, especially if they are unconscious. They could have head, neck, or back injuries, which could become worse if you move them.
- If you have the skills, provide proper medical attention. This could include providing CPR or tying a tourniquet to stop any serious bleeding.
- Be willing to stay with injured individuals until emergency responders arrive. Even if you are just talking to the person, it can make a big difference.
- If you need to provide a statement about what happened once emergency responders arrive, do that, but unless directed to do so, do not stick around after you have provided an account of the accident. You will likely get in the way.