What to do when you come across an accident scene

A fair portion of us will never see an accident, let alone be in one. But if you're to come across one, do you know what to do? It is a stressful situation that needs a cool head to get through. So, what should you do when you across an accident scene? Here's what we say;

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you can stay safe. Pull over at least 100 metres away from the scene, and put your hazard lights on. Stay back far enough to avoid broken glass, spilled fuel, and the possibility of flames.

Call for help; 911 is your best bet here to get professional en route as soon as possible. Never assume that someone else has already called. Let the 911 operator know what's happened, and where, giving as much detail as possible.

Safely as possible, check on the victims. If possible, offer assistance. The victims are likely under a lot of stress, and may even be in shock. Stick to the facts, and unless they are in imminent danger, do *not* move any of the injured.

If there is no danger, stabilize the vehicles if you can. That means putting them in park and turning off the ignition. This helps to ensure that the vehicle doesn't try to get away, and helps lower the risk of fire.

If you've stopped and helped, be sure to stick around long enough to speak to the authorities. Police will need statements and testimony describing what happened. Be honest, factual, and consistent.

Witnessing an accident can be very stressful on a person, but knowing what to do if you do see one can help.

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