What To Do At An Accident Scene
No one ever thinks they will be involved in an accident or come across an accident scene.
We rarely ever think of it when we leave our houses and hop into our cars. Even when we read reports in the news or see unsightly wrecks on the road, we never quite picture ourselves in an accident scene.
Though we never pray for such as misfortune, even on our worst enemies, it is wise to prepare for such eventualities.
Fortunately, the law itself provides us with steps to follow if we ever encounter an accident scene. Heaven forbid.
The National Road Traffic Act Lays Down the Procedures to be Followed At an Accident Scene
If you happen to cause an accident on the road this provision in the law requires you to stop. Whether you’ve caused injury to a person or damaged property, you need to stop.
Actually you are required to stop at the accident scene and failure to do so will result in years or jail time or fines in the hundreds of thousands as stipulated in Section 89 of the same Traffic Act.
After stopping you need to find out the extent of the damage both in terms of bodily harm to any victims and destruction of property.
Should you have caused injury to anyone in the accident scene, you are required to use whatever knowledge of first aid you have to assist them. If you have no such background you should call an ambulance as quickly as possible.
You should have your city’s emergency lines saved on your phone for this purpose. Do not make any attempt to move injured persons at the accident scene if you have no medical knowledge.
Secure the Accident Scene
By securing the accident scene we mean preserving the scene as it happened and securing any information that may be of value to a report of the incident.
This means leaving the vehicles as they were at the moment of the crash so that no evidence that could help subsequent investigations is interfered with. This is especially important if the accident caused injuries or was part of a criminal investigation.
Any relevant information from the accident scene must also be collected. This includes the full names, ID numbers and addresses of anyone involved in the accident as well as witnesses.
Equally important are the registration numbers of all vehicles involved. You should also be careful to note down the details of police officers at the accident scene; even those of the paramedics who came and the tow truck operators.
Report the Accident
The accident must be reported to the police within 24 hours of its occurrence, according to the Traffic Act. As you report you should give your personal details, car registration and driving license to the police officer at either the accident scene or police station.
If no one in the accident scene has been injured, a policeman does not need to be called there, but still the incident must be reported. After reporting the incident the concerned officer will fill out a form which will be filed at the Department of Transport and Public Works.
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