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What to do at the scene of an accident

If you are driving and hear an emergency vehicle’s siren and see bright lights flashing behind you, start to gently reduce your speed. Use your indicator and move over to the right hand edge of the road. When you are giving way in this case you can also stop on a cycle path or hard shoulder. Make sure that when you give way this does not affect other traffic.

When you pass an accident site, drive at a slow speed to ensure the safety of the rescue personnel. Show respect for the victims of the accident; do not stop to take pictures of the accident site.

If there are no authorities at the accident site

  1. Park your vehicle at the right hand edge of the road. Assess the situation and attempt to form a picture of what has happened. Find out whether anyone is injured and whether they need help.
  2. Ensure your own safety: wear a reflective vest or use a torch, and switch off the engine.
  3. Report the accident by calling 112. If you have a hearing or speech impairment and are a registered sender of emergency text messages, send a message to 112.
  4. Prevent new accidents and warn other traffic. Use hazard lights and place a warning triangle 100 - 150 metres from the site of the accident.
  5. Prevent the ignition of any possible fire by switching off the engine of the vehicle(s) involved in the accident.
  6. When necessary, move the injured to safety.
  7. Provide CPR and first aid to the best of your skills. The most important aspect of CPR is to ensure the injured person's breathing and blood flow, as well as to stop large bleeds.
  8. Do not leave the injured parties alone. Keep them calm and observe their state while waiting for rescue units to arrive; you will then be able to tell rescue personnel  how the situation has progressed.
  9. You cannot leave the scene of the accident until the rescue personnel or the police give you permission to do so.

Every road user has a duty to help in the case of an accident. This applies to those involved in the accident as well as other people at the scene such as pedestrians or people using public transport. Failing to carry out your duty to help can be punished with a fine or imprisonment.

    Text edited by: Suomi.fi editorial team

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    Updated: 3/20/2019