In our most recent blog, we talked about what to do if you’re in a car accident. However, those directly involved in the accident aren’t the only players in the game. If you witness an accident, you could still be a valuable voice in the situation. Every accident is unique, and the needs and action steps will be different depending on the circumstances and severity of the accident. But these basic steps are a practical start to what to do if you witness a car accident:
- Ensure your safety. If you witness an accident, pull over out of the roadway with plenty of distance between your vehicle and the accident. Stay out of the way of debris from the crash and assess if there is any further immediate threat, such as fire or leaking fuel.
- Call 911. Don’t assume that authorities have already been called. Particularly if there are injuries involved, help needs to be on it’s way as soon as possible. Be sure to give the operator all of the information you know- where you are, what you witnessed, how many cars and people are involved, and whatever other pertinent details.
- Make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay if it is safe for you to do so. Your role at the scene of the accident is to provide support. Try to avoid being a mediator or assigning fault to the series of events. It is best to remain neutral and then share the facts that you have witnessed with authorities when they arrive. If there is an injury, do not attempt to move or treat the victim. It is in the best interest of the victim and you as the witness to wait for professionals to arrive. However, you can provide needed verbal emotional support.
- Give your statement and provide your contact information to the police if needed. When authorities arrive, your role is simply to report what you have seen. Stick to the facts and be honest and consistent with what you share. If you provide your contact information to the authorities, you may be called later on to provide more information to medical or legal counsel.
Car accidents can be jostling- and often involve many different reactions and emotions. As a bystander, protect yourself by objectively observing the situation and remaining neutral. Like we said, each wreck is unique. In any situation, use your best judgement to determine what actions are best for you.
At Henry Insurance, we are here for you. Click here for more information on auto insurance through Henry Insurance Services, and call today to talk to an agent that will be here for you!