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What To Do in A Car Accident

What To Do When You Are Involved In A Car Crash At the Scene

Stop your vehicle if it is clear, safe, and legal.

Move the vehicle out of the traveled roadway, if it is clear, safe, and the vehicles have minor damage.

Turn off the ignitions of the cars involved.

Make a first aid check of all persons involved in the crash.

Call 911 to report the accident.

Exchange insurance company information. Do not discuss “fault” or make statements about the crash to anyone but the police.

Get a copy of the police report of the crash from the Waverly Police Department at 103 East Main St.  Business Hours are 08:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Allow up to 5 days from the date of the accident for the report to be completed and approved by a supervisor.

Emergency Reporting

A motorist who has a cellular phone and happens upon an emergency should be prepared to give specific information to the agency called. Most dispatchers will ask for facts, but it is best if motorists have ready the following details:

Location of the emergency (road name or number, city, closest cross street or off-ramp, milepost or other identifier, direction of travel, and any distinguishing landmarks) 

Nature of the emergency (accident, reckless or suspected drinking driver, traffic hazard, medical emergency, fire, crime in progress, etc.)
Callers may be asked to provide injury information about the victim(s).

In every instance, the dispatcher will ask for the caller’s name, mobile phone number, and home and work phone numbers in case more information is needed. Important: A caller should stay on the line until the dispatcher says he or she has enough information to be able to send help.

Above all, after reporting an emergency, mobile phone users should never risk their own safety. Calling for trained, professional help is the best approach, although in an immediate life-threatening situation it may be appropriate to take rescue action provided the “rescuer” is not endangered.

What To Do If Your Car Catches on Fire

While you are moving on a roadway:

Signal your intentions and move to the right lane.

Get onto the shoulder or breakdown lane.

Stop immediately.

Shut off the engine.

Get yourself and all other persons out of the vehicle.

Get far away from the vehicle and stay away from it. Keep onlookers and others away.

Warn oncoming traffic.

Notify the fire department by dialing 911.

Don’t attempt to try to put out the fire yourself. 

In all vehicle fire situations, the first thing to think about is personal safety; any vehicle can be replaced—humans cannot. Think and act quickly, in the safest way possible.

What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down on the Highway

At the first sign of car trouble, gently and smoothly take your foot off the accelerator. Do not brake hard or suddenly.

Carefully work your vehicle toward the breakdown lane or the side of the road. Signal your intentions to drivers behind you. If it is necessary to change lanes, watch your mirrors and the traffic around you closely.

Once off the road, make your car visible. Put flares, warning flags, or reflectorized triangles behind your vehicle to alert other drivers; use your emergency flashers. If it is dark, turn on the interior dome light.

When you have a flat tire, be certain that you can change it safely without being close to traffic. If that is possible, change the tire as you normally would. Remember, safety must take precedence over your schedule or whatever other concerns you may have.

However, when the car is beyond repair, it is best to get professional help. Do not try to flag down other vehicles.

Raise your hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it out a window so police officers or tow truck operators will know help is needed. Don’t stand behind or next to your vehicle. If the car is in the roadway, stand away from the vehicle and wait for help to arrive.

If your car is safely out of traffic, wait inside the vehicle with the doors locked. If someone stops and offers to help, open the window slightly and ask them to call the police.

Watch for a uniformed police officer or other emergency personnel.

It is inadvisable to walk on an interstate, especially during inclement weather. However, if you can reach a source of help on foot, without jeopardizing your physical or personal safety, try the direct approach by walking. Keep as far from traffic as possible and walk on the right side of the roadway. Never attempt to cross a multi-lane, high-speed roadway.  

The following information
comes from:
National Safety Council
Web Site Communications
1121 Spring Lake Drive
Itasca, IL 60143-3201
Tel: (630) 285-1121
Fax: (630) 285-1315