It can be quite scary to be in a car accident, but it can also be quite scary to be a witness of a car accident. Even if you are in no position to be affected by it yourself, the simple knowledge that you cannot do anything to stop the accident can be quite overwhelming at times. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do when you witness a car accident in order to help ensure that the people involved are kept safe and alive.
The first step when you are a witness of a car accident is to call 911 immediately and report the accident. If you have no cell phone or method of calling 911 available, ask other people at the scene or find the nearest house or business in order to call. In the event you cannot find a phone nearby, drive to the nearest phone then return to the scene of the accident.
Next, determine whether or not anyone in the vehicle(s) is injured without putting yourself in a position to be injured. Do not attempt to move the injured person or persons, as you may simply injure them further. Warn any oncoming vehicles about the accident and stop or direct traffic around the accident. At night, use car headlights to illuminate the area with a flashlight to direct traffic. When using your headlights to illuminate the area, be sure to avoid using your bright lights in a manner which may cause more accidents.
The moment the police arrive, give them your name and contact information as soon as they request it, being sure to tell them that you were a witness to the accident. You may be asked to give a statement immediately, or you may be asked to give one at a later time. Be sure to write down every detail of the accident as soon as possible in order to ensure that the details are still fresh in your mind. Be sure to give as many facts as possible, including the date, time, location, road conditions, and vehicles that were involved in the accident. If you saw how the accident occurred, be sure to write down the exact flow of events in order to help ensure the police know all that they can.
The last thing to remember is to stay out of the way when the emergency crews arrive and leave the scene as soon as possible when they have. You have done your part in helping out.