Automobile accidents can be scary events. Ideally, you would never have to deal with one. But in the event an irresponsible driver hits your vehicle, you and your passengers may suffer injuries as a result. It is important to keep a cool head since the well-being of yourself and others may depend on your following actions.

You want to do what you can to make sure the paramedics get to your location as soon as possible. In the meantime, you should also take action to help preserve life if required. U.S. News and World Report offers some tips that may help you in this endeavor.

Check everyone for injuries

You should check your passengers for injuries. If the collision has seriously injured them, refrain from moving them until the paramedics arrive to avoid causing further trauma. You also want to find out about the state of the driver and passengers of other cars involved in the accident as well as pedestrians if any became involved in the ordeal.

You might learn to your relief that no one has suffered serious injuries, only minor ones. Even so, this is not a time to assume everything is all right. An injury may produce minor symptoms at first but then manifest more severe symptoms later on.

Make sure you are safe

With your vehicle stopped, you should be sure your vehicle is not in danger of fire or destruction. Smell the air for smoke. You may have to exit your automobile. If you have passengers, you may have to assist them in leaving the vehicle. Look for surroundings like a grassy median where you can seek safe harbor.

You may be able to move your vehicle off the road if you only suffer a minor accident with no injuries. However, if you or anyone else suffers a serious injury, it may be better to leave the automobile where it is so investigators can look at it.

Call for emergency assistance

Once you have confirmed the existence of injuries, you should call 911. Some people in an auto accident assume that another person has already made an emergency call. The problem is that everyone involved may share this assumption, so no one has actually called for help. This can cause delays in emergency responders arriving. Taking the initiative may make an important difference.