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Take these steps in a roadside emergency

If you get into a crash or come upon a crash and want to help, do you know what to do? Whether a car has been impacted or a vehicle isn't working, knowing what to do to make the situation safer is key to preventing or worsening injuries.

To start with, if anyone is injured, call for emergency care. It's important that injuries are treated before worrying about anything else. While you're waiting for medical care, move vehicles to the side of the road or out of traffic if possible. This helps prevent secondary crashes.

Next, make the wrecked or disabled vehicles as obvious as possible. Some people carry flares in their vehicles for these situations. Turn on your vehicle's hazard lights if possible, and do everything you can to make the vehicle stand out. This helps others avoid hitting you and causing another collision.

While waiting for help, stay inside your vehicle if you can. This is safer than standing on the side of the road. Keep your belts fastened if you're able to do so. This helps protect you if you do end up getting hit.

Finally, if someone approaches you to help, be cautious. While the likelihood is that it's a helpful passerby, you should always be careful. Ask them to call for emergency help if you haven't already done so.

Knowing what to do if you see a stranded vehicle or are stranded yourself helps you make sure you don't get hurt and can help others avoid further injury. With the right steps, it's possible to stay safe while help arrives.

Source: Consumer Reports, "What to Do in a Roadside Emergency," accessed Jan. 03, 2018

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