The Do’s And Don’ts Of Witnessing An Accident

  • Written by News Feature Team

Witnessing a car accident is a scary and sometimes traumatic experience. While the initial moment of impact may come as a shock, it’s important to keep your cool and take action – your role as a witness could be crucial. You could be in a position to save someone’s life, or at the very least to help make a case to an insurance company. Remember these crucial dos and don’ts if you want to be an effective and helpful accident witness.

  1. Do take life saving action if possible. If you see an injured person and know the correct techniques to help revive them and see that they’re in an appropriate position, do what you can to help out. If you’re unsure of how to respond in this kind of situation, going for first aid refresher training can be useful. Even trained medical professionals need a reminder of the life-saving basics sometimes, so there’s no shame in taking additional courses.

  2. Do call emergency services. Before you check on the victims or attempt to help out, make a fast call to the emergency services. Calling 000 should put you through to your local services immediately. Speak clearly and loudly, even if you’re feeling anxious or upset - make sure they can hear your exact location and get all of the information you have.

  3. Don’t make any sudden moves. Once you’ve checked out the vehicle and have seen the aftermath of the crash, it’s important not to move the accident victims if they’re in a difficult position. If they’ve been severely injured, sudden movements could paralyse the victims or cause extensive damage. Assist as best you can, but, unless you’re trained to deal with this kind of situation, wait for the ambulance to arrive.

  4. Do get out of the way. If your car is close to the scene of the accident, pull off so that you’re out of the way for the emergency vehicles. If possible, alert other motorists heading in your direction to the accident so they can take a different route. Turn your hazards on so that other motorists know to slow down or stop.

  5. Do offer to make some calls. When the emergency services are busy taking care of the victims, it may be helpful to offer your assistance in contacting family members or friends of the victims to let them know what’s happened. If they’re mildly injured but don’t feel up to making the call, you may be able to assist them by calling their contact to make arrangements.

  6. Do answer questions. Once the police arrive and the victims are being taken care of, the police may have some questions for you as a witness of the accident. Answer their questions as accurately and honestly as possible, and allow them to reach the necessary conclusions. Don’t withhold any information as this could prevent justice from being served.

  7. Do give out your contact details. Make sure that all of the people involved in the crash, as well as the emergency services and any detectives on the scene, have all of your contact details should they need to get hold of you for further questioning later. Once they have all of your information and the accident is being cleared away, you can head home.


The Conversation


Grass trees aren't a grass (and they're not trees)

Xanthorrhoea have no real trunk – just tightly packed leaves. CC BY-SASign up to the Beating Around the Bush newsletter here, and suggest a plant we should cover at

Peter Grimes is a thrilling and moving staging of the great English opera

Stuart Skelton in the title role of Peter Grimes.Brisbane FestivalReview: Peter Grimes, Brisbane FestivalPeter Grimes, one of the centrepiece events of this year’s Brisbane Festival, is a remarkable collaboration between...

Michelle Grattan on strawberries, Sudmalis, schools, and the au pair affair

Michelle Grattan speaks with University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Deep Saini about the week in politics. They discuss rushed legislation on strawberry contamination, the Liberals continued women problem with Ann Sudmalis’...

Super. If Labor really wanted to help women in retirement, it would do something else

Labor's plan to pay super to women on paid parental leave would barely boost their retirement incomes.ShutterstockWhen it comes to the gender gap in retirement incomes, symbolism appears to matter...

Is it time for Australia to be more open about research involving animals?

Most people never have the chance to see how animals live in laboratories.from The use of animals in scientific research is a complex ethical issue, and these studies typically...

If privacy is increasing for My Health Record data, it should apply to all medical records

Everyone was up in arms about a lack of privacy with My Health Records, but the privacy is the same for other types of patient data. from www.shutterstock.comIn response to...

New laws help juries understand why victims of sexual violence struggle to recall their assaults

Prosecution rates of sexual assault cases remain low, with fewer than 50% of cases brought to court in NSW resulting in conviction.ShutterstockIn June, the New South Wales parliament passed new...

why Catholic primary school parents can afford to pay more

Dan Tehan’s first major action as federal education minister was a deal for Catholic and independent schools. From a policy perspective, the pieces were already in place. Tehan’s predecessor, Simon...

Why does English have so many different spelling rules?

More spelling problems came in when French scribes introduced new spelling conventions — their own of course, and not always helpful.Shutterstock, CC BYThis is an article from Curious Kids, a...

Quotas are not pretty but they work – Liberal women should insist on them

Liberal women such as those in the Morrison ministry, pictured here, should organise to achieve structural change - the only kind that ever sticks.AAP/Lukas CochIt is an historic moment for...

What makes you a man or a woman? Geneticist Jenny Graves explains

It's just a tiny part of the Y chromosome that kickstarts the development of testes. Kelly Searle/UnsplashThis article is part of our occasional long read series Zoom Out, where authors...

the GFC and me. Ten years on, what have we learned?

Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd spent big and spent bold, and it almost certainly kept us out of recession.A little more than a decade on from the the collapse of...

Popular articles from Modern Australian

6 Rug Trends That Will Boost Style and Comfort in Your HomeVirectin Reviews and Results (LATEST) - Honest ReviewSafety Management Systems & its importance: Workplace Health and SafetyPut your problems to rest with Antenna GenieHow to Choose the Best Lasik Surgeon?? It’s as easy as it can get!Here’s Why You Need to Own Shipping Containers Right AwayThings to Do and See in Ballina, AustraliaLaser Liposuction: The Myths and FactsHow To Show Your Elderly Relatives Love9 Ways to Recognize the Early Signs of DementiaTop 5 Design Trends in Commercial InteriorCo-Occurring Disorders and Overcoming AddictionGuide to Travel Necessities for 2018Fun Activities for Spending Quality Time with Your KidsTop Sightseeing Spots in New Zealand