What To Do If You’ve Witnessed A Vehicle Accident?

Vehicle accidents are scary and it can occur any time and anywhere. In the event that you witness a car accident, you should know how to react appropriately to the emergency in front of you. No, you do not have to be the hero in this scene, just follow the steps below:

Stay Calm and Safety First

Some people who witness a vehicle accident immediately rush into the scene without a plan. This obviously does not do any good. First of all, one must stay calm and ensure their safety. Take a deep breath and assess the severity of the crash.

  • Keep your distance: Pull over to a secure location if you witnessed a vehicle accident while you were driving. Likewise, turn your hazard lights on when you stay put on the other side.
  • Take notes: File away mental details about the accident. If possible, jot down all details on a notepad. Take note of the plate numbers involved, how many people were involved, damages, and injuries.

Call 911

It is okay to perform CPR if you have medical training. Otherwise, do not attempt to intercede with any injured persons.

  • Contact emergency services: Call for emergency help and inform them of the victims’ conditions. In the event that there are any conscious victims, inform them that medical help is on the way to help reassure them.
  • Render assistance: Depending on the situation, you may be capable of providing assistance to the victims. You can do this by keeping the driver and other passengers calm and collected.
  • Do not touch/move an injured person: Never move any injured person whenever possible. Vehicle accidents usually result in neck and back injuries and moving them could only make it worse. Unless there is impending risk of further threat (explosion, fire, further crash), you simply cannot move the victim.
  • Be vigilant: While waiting for local authorities and emergency rescue, be cautious of any hazards. These could be leaking fuel or broken glass.

Document the scene

In the event that the victims are incapable of documenting the scene, you may do it for them once the area is secured and they are stabilized. Photos that are taken right after the vehicle accident can help the victim in any insurance and legal claims.

Wait For The Police And Medical Personnel

Wait for the local authorities and emergency medical team to arrive. It is most likely that the ambulance will arrive first. However, you must stay put even if it takes longer for the police to show up.

It is smart to wait for the police and give them your eyewitness testimony for their police report. You can also provide the victims your contact information if it’s alright with you to be contacted by an insurance agent later for any investigation.


You must do your best to stay calm after witnessing a car accident. Remember that the victims may be in a panic and confrontational mood. Check on them, call medical services and the police, and then secure the area. Click here if you want to know more about what to do legally after a car accident.

Joanne Reed
Joanne Reed has been writing about law and business for almost a decade, and is currently writing for The Law Office of William W. Hurst. She is an avid sports fan and loves watching games if she has free time.

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