When you're in an automobile accident, your first instincts might be to be upset or worry about the cost of repairs — and no one can blame you. However, it's also important to keep a cool head and take charge of the situation. Some people who are in accidents are so absorbed with what has happened that they fail to identify and react to safety threats on the scene. While the arrival of the authorities will make the scene safer, it could be several minutes before a police cruiser pulls up. Until that occurs, take charge of the scene in these ways.
Make The Scene More Visible
Try to quickly assess the visibility of the scene. In low-light conditions, especially, other motorists might be unaware of the accident and the potentially haphazard placement of vehicles on the road. Likewise, motorists can fail to see an accident that has happened immediately around a blind corner. A top priority is to make the scene more visible, which you can do in a number of ways. If you have a roadside safety kit, remove the folding pylon and set it up on the road behind you; at night, use road flares in this capacity. You can also ask other drivers involved in the accident, or those who have stopped to act as witnesses, to provide any such devices that can be used.
Identify Potential Hazards
Some accident scenes can possess safety hazards that panicked motorists might not notice. Take charge by looking for such issues. For example, if a vehicle's damaged condition has resulted in leaking gasoline or oil on the road, there could be a fire risk. Make sure people stand well back from the scene and ensure that no one lights a cigarette. Likewise, encourage anyone standing around to move into a safe area away from the road. Frazzled motorists might stand on the road itself to call or text their insurance company without considering the dangers of their location.
Decide When Vehicles Can Be Moved
In larger accidents, a vehicle might be immovable. However, in small accidents, local authorities encourage motorists to steer their vehicles to the side of the road or even a nearby parking area to minimize the disruption to traffic. If you and the other driver involved in the accident have initially left your vehicles in the roadway, talk calmly to decide whether you can move them into a safer area. If you both agree with the usefulness of doing so, take action in this manner.
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