Road Accident, What to Do When YOU are the WitnessAugust 25, 2008
You are driving along when you see a car hydroplane, spinning 360 degrees in the road, then sliding backwards into the median where it spins some more before coming to a stop. While your heart is still racing, what’s the first thing you should do?
This is exactly what I had to figure out this morning. Riding to work, my commuting buddy and I were talking when he said “Look at that.” We watched a car spin, hit the median, spin and come to a stop. We slowed as we pulled up, Sam already turning on his emergency flashers. He got out to check on the driver who thankfully was ok. She was already on the phone arranging a ride, and the highway patrol was on the way.
Luckily for us, we were far enough back, we had plenty of time to slow down, pull over, and then help the driver this morning. It has been raining for over a week here thus Sam was driving just under the speed limit. That allowed a nice margin between his truck and any other traffic. When road conditions are bad, keeping extra distance between you and the car in front of you is always a good idea.
What if you are behind a car that wrecks? What should you do?
- Make sure you are not part of the accident. Brake as slowly as you can before stopping and put on your emergency flashers.
- Call 911
- Check on the driver.
- Stay with the driver until help arrives. If they are able to get out of the car, you can help them out. If they are injured, do not try to move them.
Other items you might have in your car are a first aid kit, a reflective triangle (the kind you set on the road when you change a tire), a blanket, or a flashlight. Most often, these would be items you would have in case you are in an accident. However, if you are in a position to offer aide to an accident victim before help arrives, they can be quite useful.
Each situation is different. Offer as much, and the best help that you can. If all you can do is call 911 to report the accident, then do that. Drive safe and hopefully you can be the assistor, not the one in need of assistance.