Being first on the scene of a car accident is not a situation anybody wants to find themselves in, but we all must know how to respond in case we ever are. Knowing what to do if an accident occurs can be the difference between life and death for the people involved. To ensure that you are prepared if you ever find yourself in this situation, we’ve put together a list of exactly what you should do if you are first to the scene of a car accident.
Assess the situation
To help people involved in a car accident, you need to get close to the site, but you also need to protect yourself. Park your car a comfortable distance away from the crash site. This will ensure it remains safe and you can get away from the area if you need to. It also leaves space for emergency vehicles to get through to the accident site. Assess the accident site carefully, looking for hazards such as flames, glass or leaked fuel. Take a mental note of the extent of damage and possible harm caused to the passengers.
Alert others of the accident
Turn on your car’s hazard lights to let others know that there has been an accident. Take a look around and do what you can to make the area safe. You will also need to call emergency services to alert them of the accident. Provide details such as the accident location, number of people involved and overall damage. If other people have stopped to assist, ask them to call triple 000 while you turn your attention to the passengers.
Assist the victims
If the accident site is safe to approach, make your way to the cars to see if you can help any of the passengers. If you have a car first aid kit or a travel first aid kit in your bag, now is the time to get it. It is best not to move anyone or try to treat injuries unless you are a trained professional. Otherwise, try to get everyone to stay calm until professional help gets to the scene. Tell all people involved that emergency services have been called and are on their way to the site.
Secure the vehicles
If it is safe to do so, check the cars to make sure the engines are off. It is also worthwhile to put any vehicles involved in park to stop them from rolling.
Assist professionals where possible
When first responders arrive, it is best to let them do their job and stay out of their way as much as possible. However, if you have any critical information, you should communicate this as quickly and succinctly as you can so that they can get up to speed on the situation. You may also be able to provide value by waiting with victims if they are scared, upset or in shock. Sometimes people in this situation need a reassuring voice or a hand to hold, and this means emergency services can focus on the pressing issues at hand.
Being first to the site of a car accident can be extremely daunting but being prepared means that you could save somebody’s life.