It is reported that more than 840 people have passed away in 654 fatal road crashes since the start of December on South African roads. On television we have seen images of horrific accident scenes and paramedics doing their best to save the lives of the badly injured accident victims.
On the Car Insurance Blog we have discussed how vehicle owners can find cheaper car insurance by focusing on the way that they drive and by keeping a clean accident record. We would, amidst all these road accidents in December like to focus on the importance of safe driving near accident scenes.
An accident scene is an important driver distraction. Many accidents occur next to accidents scenes where motorists are not attentive to the road ahead and only focused on the emergency activities at the scene. Road users have a strange curiosity to closely observe badly damaged vehicles and injured bodies on the road. It is as if everyone suddenly becomes an accident investigator gathering information to share with friends and family at the next coffee table discussion!
How should we drive near the scene of an accident?
The following advice is provided on the Arrive Alive road safety website to motorists driving near accident scenes:
- Slow down when you see an accident scene – and if necessary –Stop!
- Look for changes in the traffic pattern around the accident
- Look for personnel directing traffic
- Stop when directed to stop and do so immediately. Do not keep coasting slowly.
- Proceed through the scene slowly when directed to do so
- Look for signs indicating what you should do
- Watch out for emergency services personnel walking around the scene
- Watch out for emergency vehicles arriving and departing the scene
- Do not stare at the accident scene or flashing lights while your vehicle is in motion
- Do not honk your horn. Rest assured, it will not get you through any faster!
- Do not make sudden movements
- Do not assume anything. Do only as directed by the police or officials directing traffic
- Do not disregard the directions of the personnel directing traffic
It is important that we respect the need for safety not only for accident victims – but also that of paramedics working under the most difficult of circumstances. Avoid driver distractions and adding to the chaos through your own irresponsible driving. By driving with caution and being focused on other vehicles around you, you may be contribute to saving the life of an accident victim and also avoid an accident and insurance claim in the process!
Also view Accident Scene Safety