Witnessing a road accident can be a frightening and traumatic experience for anyone, but there are many things you can do to help those involved when you stop.
When you first arrive at an accident scene
Find yourself a safe place to park ideally off the road and put your hazard lights on. If there are others already at the scene you should speak to them and arrange for one individual to phone the emergency services. If several people call in to report to a single accident it is possible that they may receive conflicting information which could cause confusion and delay their arrival.
The information that should be given to the emergency services should include your name, phone number, a clear description of the location and the number of people injured. Although the situation may be quite stressful, the person making the call should try to remain calm so that the information is passed on correctly.
Things you can do to help
An accident scene can be quite a stressful and chaotic place so the more you can do to organise yourselves the better. If there are injured people at the scene try to establish if anyone has any kind of first aid training, and if so they can be delegated to look after the injured until the paramedics arrive. Even if no one has any medical training they can still help the injured by providing reassurance to them until help arrives.
It important to warn other road users about the hazard, particularly if the accident occurs on or near a bend in the road. Walk along the edge of the road and warn the traffic about the hazard ahead, but take care not to put yourself in danger.
Ensure that no one smokes at the accident scene, there may be spilt fuel from ruptured petrol tanks or fuel lines which could easily be ignited by a discarded cigarette.
Basic First Aid
If you are not confident with administering first aid it is probably best if you just try to comfort any injured individuals as best you can until the emergency services arrive.
If you feel able, there are a few key issues that need to be dealt with any injury.
Firstly do not move the injured person because they may have sustained a neck or spinal injury and moving them could make things much worse
Check that the individuals airway is clear and unobstructed, so they can breathe easily
If they are bleeding, pressing on or 'compressing' the wound will help restrict the blood flow. This should be done wearing gloves to avoid coming into contact with the persons blood
Try to keep the person warm with jackets or blankets, this will help with their circulation
Stay with the injured person and talk to them, don't let them move about and reassure them that help is on the way
Information you can gather to help someone with a claim
To help the victim of the accident you should make a note of all the registration numbers of the vehicles involved, contact details of other witnesses, make a note of the circumstances of the incident and take photographs of the scene. If the police ask you what happened, try to recall as much detail as you can.
If you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault we can arrange for your car to be repaired at one of our approved repair centres, and provide you with a quality like-for-like replacement hire car.
Please give us a call on 02392 484 244 or start your free claim enquiry online using the button below, and one of our experienced claims advisors will be happy to assist you.