Modern Australian Magazine


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.


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