It is a scary moment. You are driving on the freeway, and you see two cars collide. Can you help? Should you help? What should you do?
Here are five steps you can take if you witness a car crash, whether it is on an interstate or a surface street.
- Find a Safe Place to Stop. Get your car to a safe spot on the side of the road, in front of the accident’s site. Make sure your car is not impeding traffic or in danger of being struck, and put on your blinkers (your emergency lights).
- Call 911. You may be the first person at the scene. In case you are, get on the phone with emergency dispatchers so that medical care can be sent. An ambulance or a fire truck may be required, so be sure to report the accident.
- Offer a Kind Word. Saying something reassuring to the people injured in the accident could help ease minds and cool hot tempers. Perhaps one of them needs to use your cell phone to make a call. Perhaps you could write down information for each car before the police arrive.
- Talk with the Police. Wait for the police officers to approach you, but when they do, be sure to stay there until the police tell you your assistance is no longer needed at the accident scene.
- Provide a Statement. You will be a witness at the scene, possibly. Be prepared to give a formal statement of exactly what you saw. Your description of the event could be of crucial assistance to whomever was not at fault in the collision.