We’ve all been stuck in a bad traffic jam, only to discover a car accident up ahead and emergency crew on the scene managing traffic. But what steps should you take if you happen to be first on the scene of a car accident? The worst thing you can do is freeze up, stress out or look on and do nothing. Listen to your instinct and jump into action immediately, precious minutes can save lives. Bear in mind that each situation is different, however, the steps below should serve as a general guideline so you know exactly what to do if you stumble upon an accident.
Approach with caution
As you approach the scene make sure you park a safe distance away from the damaged vehicle or vehicles to give you the opportunity to properly access the situation and whether it is safe to approach. This will also give way for emergency personnel to approach the scene freely later on. Look out for obvious hazards such as leaking fuel, broken glass, or flames.
Signal the accident and call triple zero
Before exiting your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights to attract other drivers attention & warn them to slow down. Exit your vehicle and use hand signals to slow the traffic down entirely, particularly where the accident is blocking the road. Be careful not to put yourself at risk especially on a busy road or highway and ask other drivers to stop and put their hazard lights on also to assist you. Call emergency services as soon as it is safe to do so, or better yet if another driver has stopped to assist ask them to call triple zero.
Help the victims
If it is safe to do so, and there are no obvious hazards approach the scene and follow the directions of the triple zero operator until such times as emergency services arrive. The operator will likely ask you to assess the crash and ask questions such as the location, how many vehicles and people are involved and how severe their injuries are. Your job will mainly be to keep the victims calm and out of harm’s way until help arrives, in any case, be sure to listen closely to the directions from the operator.
Once help arrives, let the professionals take it from there and give yourself a pat on the back for remaining clam and handling the situation well!
For more motoring news and advice, check out the Auto Leaders Blog.