Never, ever, ever do this after an auto accident
(HEADLINE HEALTH) A New Hampshire teenager was killed this week after the car he was riding in crashed into a barrier at high speed.
But it wasn’t the crash that killed 18-year-old Owen Halverson.
In fact, he and the other four occupants of the vehicle all survived the initial accident.
It was what the five friends did next that cost this young man his life.
According to police, they got out of the vehicle to survey the damage.
That’s when another motorist crashed into them, striking Halverson. Described as a popular recent high school graduate, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
If you’re involved in a crash, it’s essential to remain in your vehicle until it’s safe to exit. Once all passengers are out, you should immediately get off the roadway and well away from travelled lanes.
According to automotive-fleet.com, “Exiting or standing around a stranded vehicle greatly increases the risk of injury or death.”
The site offers these vehicle breakdown tips:
1. Pull over and out of traffic if possible. Even if all of emergency lights are activated, some highway drivers do not pay close attention and could rear-end the disabled vehicle, causing further damage or injury.
2. The driver shouldn’t attempt to fix the vehicle, even if it appears it’s going to be a quick or easy fix. [This includes changing tires on the roadside, a fairly common and completely unnecessary cause of motorist deaths. – Editor] Wait for professional help to arrive.
3. Only exit the vehicle if it is necessary or safe to do so. If possible, raise the vehicle hood to alert passing authorities that the vehicle is disabled and help is needed.
4. Patience is a virtue in breakdown situations. Particularly in heavily trafficked metropolitan areas, highways are regularly patrolled by police and tow truck operators — help will arrive soon.
The story of this young man’s tragic death is reminiscent of a heavily played auto insurance commercial in which a teen motorist is standing next to a disabled vehicle. He is on the phone with his dad, asking if their policy includes roadside assistance, while the driver’s friend is seen standing nearby in the roadway. The teen on the phone whispers to his friend, “my dad says our insurance doesn’t have that.”
The first phone call to make in the event your vehicle is disabled should be to 9-1-1. Then call for roadside assistance; every driver should have the number of a roadside assistance provider on their phone. If not, emergency services can typically dispatch one.
A bill for having your vehicle towed to a safe location is nothing compared to the value of a human life. Also of interest: Do Cell Phones Really Cause Brain Cancer?