On behalf of the Henneberger & Flynn staff, have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving holiday.
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If you have ever been in an auto accident, you know it can be a traumatic situation. Accidents occur every day and happen in the blink of an eye. The more you are on the road, the more likely you are to witness a wreck. If you do ever witness an accident, please stop. We know your time is valuable and it can inconvenience to stop, but it is so important that you do.
Here are six things you should do if you ever witness an accident.
Assess the situation. No matter how severe the accident is, make sure you are safe. Check for oncoming traffic and other safety hazards that might be in your way. Turn your hazard lights on and pull over. You will want to make sure you are far enough away from broken glass, fuel, and flames to prevent any further danger.
Before you take action, make sure you are calm and in control. Taking a deep breath will help you navigate the traumatic situation at hand.
Even if the wreck doesn’t appear severe, the authorities should be notified. It is important that you don’t assume someone else has called 911. You want to calmly and quickly tell the operator the details of the accident. It is important to share all pertinent details such as the location, number of vehicles, type of vehicles, number of people, injuries, etc.
Make sure the victims involved in the accident are okay. You will want to report any noticeable injuries to the operator as well. This is not the time to blame the victims. Make sure everyone is safe and out of harm’s way. Do not move the victim unless the situation is dire, such as fire. This could make their medical situation worse. It is very important that you remain calm, and reassure the victims that help is on the way.
To eliminate the risk of fire, it is important to stabilize the vehicle. As long as the incident is minor, ask the driver to put the vehicle in park and turn off the ignition. If you have an emergency roadside kit, make sure you set it up to warn other drivers. If not, try to use the hazard lights.
It is important that you give a statement to the police and provide your contact information. You will want, to be honest, factual, and consistent. Your statement could be used for legal, medical, or insurance purposes. This is one of the most important things you can do when you witness an accident.
By stopping and helping, you can make a huge impact on the situation at hand.