While no one ever wants to get into a car accident or even see someone else in a car accident on the side of the road, the facts of life are that car accidents are going to happen. So if you are the one who’s the first to come upon the scene, it’s good to know what to do and what not to do.

So to help ensure that you’re able to keep your cool and be helpful in a potentially very traumatic situation, here are three things to do if you’re the first person to witness a car or truck accident.

Before Anything Else, Call The Police

As soon as you see the accident take place, you should phone the police. Especially if it doesn’t look like the vehicles involved are going to be able to request assistance on their own, you should take it upon yourself to inform the authorities and get the right people on the scene to help.

According to Ros Lehman, a contributor to ABC.net.au, once you call the authorities, they’ll be able to give you additional advice as to what actions you should take next. The operator’s experience will be invaluable to you in this type of situation. Based on the exact situation of the car accident, the next steps you’ll take will likely vary drastically.

Make Other Drivers Aware Of The Scene

To help keep other drivers safe, and to ensure that the victims of the car accident don’t get further injured, you should do what you can to make others on the road aware of the scene ahead. According to IDriveSafely.com, you should turn on your hazard lights once you stop your vehicle. Additionally, if you have traffic triangles or flares available, use those as well.

Not only will taking these steps let other drivers know to slow down and proceed with caution, but it will also signal to others that the situation requires additional help, in the event that anyone in the area can offer their expertise.

Ask Yourself A Very Important Question

When some people come upon others who are hurt or in danger, their initial response might be to jump in and help however they can. But despite this instinct, Road and Travel Magazine recommends that you only help if you’re sure you can better the situation.

In some instances, what’s going to be best is for the victims to stay where they are and not be moved until emergency personnel arrives. So if you’re sure that you can be of assistance and now somehow make matters worse, only then should you comfortably step into the scene.

To help you know what to do if you’re ever the first person to the scene of a car accident, consider studying the above information for future reference.