When you witness a car accident, your testimony may be vital to the victim. Parties may try to manipulate the situation if they are guilty of reckless driving.

What can you do if you witness a car accident? Most importantly, stay calm. Keeping a level head may help avoid escalation of a situation. Beyond that, there are a series of steps you should take.

Call 911 and stay until help arrives

As soon as it is safe, turn on your hazard lights and pull over. Call 911 in case of any injuries. Pay attention to your surroundings. The emergency operator will need your location and ask you to describe the scene. After the call, write down any details you remember about the cause of the accident. Recalling the incident as soon as possible can improve the efficacy of your testimony later.

Survey the situation before getting out of your car. If you are on a busy road or the vehicles involved in the accident are smoking, it may be dangerous for you to do anything but observe. Other parties may be angry or aggressive, and your own safety could be at risk.

Try to help

Texas state laws do not require you to remain on the scene and help after an accident. You may not want to get involved if you feel you would not help the situation. However, if you do decide to stay, the Texas Constitution may protect your actions in the form of Good Samaritan laws. These laws keep you safe if any life-saving measures accidentally make the situation worse.