How to Handle a Road Side Emergency

Coming across an accident while out on the road can be a frightening and stressful. Not only is it a dangerous environment to exit your car and assist but the sight of injured, bleeding people or children can be terrifying. Every accident scene has its own unique challenges and emergency personnel are usually quick on the scene to ensure the safety of all parties involved. This article helps address what you can do to help if you are the first to arrive on the scene.

Pull your vehicle over

  • Find a safe place to stop and park your vehicle.
  • Turn your car hazards and lights on. This will bring attention to other motorists that there has been an accident and slowdown is necessary.
  • Put out your warning triangles if you have them.


Phone an Emergency Number

Be prepared to answer the following questions from the call taker:

  • Your telephone number. This will allow the call taker to call you back should you be cut off.
  • Your location.
  • The details of what has happened.
  • How many people are injured and whether there are any other hazards such as a fire, etc.

From this information, the dispatcher can send the correct personal from the closest area therefore ensuring a quick on the scene response.  The call taker may also give you telephonic advice as to what to do to help the injured on the accident scene.

Assisting the Injured

  • If you keep a first aid kit in your vehicle, remove the kit and immediately put on the rubber gloves.
  • If the victims are conscious, speak calmly and reassure them that the emergency services are on their way. Depending on the severity of the accident, this may the only and most important thing you can do to help the individuals involved.
  • Do NOT move the patient or try to remove them from the vehicle UNLESS there is an immediate threat to their life, such as the car been on fire. There may be underlying injuries and any movement could worsen the injury.
  • If the person is unconscious, open their mouth and make sure there is nothing inside causing obstruction to the breathing.
  • Check if the person is breathing. If the patient is breathing, monitor the breathing. If the patient is NOT breathing and you have been trained to do so, you may begin CPR.
  • If a person is experiencing heavy bleeding, place any available material over the open wound and apply direct pressure. Maintain this pressure until the emergency services arrive.

Being the first to arrive at the accident scene can be a terrifying ordeal. Try your very best to remain calm and help as much as the situation allows.