From small fender benders to major collisions, car accidents are an unfortunate fact of life on Brisbane’s roads. The good news is that most people get away with minor damage and a few bruises. But not everyone is so lucky, and it’s often first responders who find themselves in danger when tending to the site of a car accident. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, and that’s especially true for motorists passing by accident sites. The way you handle an accident and navigate around any cars or people on site goes a long way to keeping first responders, pedestrians and emergency workers safe.
Accident sites tend to be a hive of activity. Drivers, tow truck operators, emergency services, curious onlookers – lots of people could be milling about the accident site. The safety of those people is as much your responsibility as it is theirs, and there’s no sense in putting anyone in unnecessary danger. Treat the accident site like you would treat a roadworks site. Slow down and give any people or stopped cars a wide berth. If there’s room to move over safely, consider changing lanes to be as far away from the accident as you can. Once you’re well clear of the accident you can accelerate back up to the speed limit and continue on your way.
Check for Emergency Services
Luckily, most of the accidents on Brisbane’s roads are minor, and drivers usually get away with a few small bumps and bruises. For bigger accidents, police, paramedics and the Queensland Fire Service will often be in attendance. Depending on the accident and whether anyone was hurt, emergency services can be engaged in anything from cleaning up the crash site to preparing patients for transport.
It’s your job to keep your eyes peeled for any emergency service workers and do your part to keep them safe. At the start of 2022, Queensland officially introduced its new “Move Over, Slow Down” rule. To keep emergency services safe, drivers are required to move over or slow down to a safe speed whenever they need to pass a first responder, emergency vehicle or any other people or workers in the vicinity. Even if there aren’t any emergency vehicles or workers on site, Move Over, Slow Down is still a good rule to follow.
Be Aware of Hazards
Pedestrians and first responders aren’t the only thing you need to keep an eye out for. Car accidents often create other hazards on the road, like broken glass, oil spills, chunks of delaminated tyres and other pieces of debris. The last thing you need is to run over a huge piece of debris and damage your vehicle or end up in an accident of your own. Slowing down to a safe speed will give you more time to spot and react to hazards, and lowering your speed should keep you safe if you drive through spilled substances like engine oil. Not only does staying aware of hazards protect your own car, it helps to look after anyone who’s working by the side of the road too. The last thing emergency responders need is to be showered by shards of glass as you speed past!
It’s important to pay attention to a crash site so that you’ll have plenty of notice of any hazards you need to avoid. But, there’s a difference between paying close attention and being a stickybeak. Move over and slow down, but make sure you keep your eyes on the road ahead. Accident sites aren’t interesting enough to claim your full attention, and the other drivers on the road will thank you for staying focused on driving. If you slow down to look at an accident, you’re creating an extra traffic hazard that could even lead to a new accident.
Want to Stay Safe on the Road? Download the Harvey’s Towing Glovebox Guide!
The last thing any of us wants is to find ourselves standing on the side of the road. Whether it’s a breakdown or you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s important to know what to do next. Harvey’s Towing provides a helpful glovebox guide that lives in your car and contains all the information you need to get in touch with emergency workers and accident towing services. We work with first responders and insurance companies throughout Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan and the Gold Coast, meaning we’re always available when you need us. If you need a tow, call us on 07 3297 0911 or contact us online and we’ll send a tow truck to meet you as soon as possible.