Thousands of traffic accidents occur every day. In the majority of those accidents, drivers and passengers are the only individuals affected. However, other people who have nothing to do with the accident can also be the victims of what turns into a very dangerous situation…
Even if you were not directly involved in the accident, if you were injured, you may still have a personal injury claim against one or both of the drivers involved in the crash.
Dangers to Onlookers and Pedestrians
Accidents draw attention. For some, it is exciting and interesting to witness a car accident. But for those involved in the accident, it’s a different story. Sometimes onlookers and witnesses can be more annoying than helpful.
Of course, if there are witnesses who actually saw the crash occur, you may want to speak to them if you are able to do so. They may have valuable information about the accident that could be helpful to your legal case.
Car accident scenes become dangerous for pedestrians and onlookers when they place themselves so close to the accident that it becomes a hazard. For example, as the accident occurs, debris from vehicles may fly off and injure an onlooker or passerby. Often, the drivers involved in the accident will also be liable for any injuries that are caused as a result of the accident, including flying debris.
In other situations, witnesses may try to help those who were involved in the accident. While these witnesses have good intentions, their willingness to help might actually do more harm than good.
Some witnesses may stop on the side of the road or as they walk by. Car accident scenes can be dangerous because other drivers may not see them and collide into the scene. This obviously presents a danger to anyone that is near the accident, including Good Samaritans who are trying to render aid.
Dangers to Police Officers
Police officers often risk their lives in the line of duty, and even responding to a routine fender bender can be extremely dangerous. Auto accidents are one of the most common cause of law enforcement death, second to gunshot wounds.
Car Accident Dangers that Affect Other Drivers
Often, we are told to simply stop wherever the accident took place and wait for law enforcement to arrive. Although this advice should be generally followed, it is not always safe to stop where the accident occurred.
Instead, you should move the vehicles out of traffic if you are able to do so. Failing to move your vehicle can cause unnecessary danger to other drivers.
Drivers are not looking for accidents in the middle of the road, so coming upon one can be fatal for not only the driver but also those who have already been involved in an accident.
You can prevent pile ups by adhering to some of these simple after-accident procedures:
- Remove vehicles and passengers out of the line of traffic and as far away from the road as possible as soon as possible.
- Put up warning signs if you have them (triangles or flares are helpful for this); for some trucking accidents, this may actually be required
- Direct passengers or onlookers away from the accidents
- Direct traffic around the accident, if necessary (but be careful not to put yourself in danger!)
Letting others know about the accident is the best way to avoid further problems. The police can help with this when they arrive, so do your best until they get there.