Reporting an Accident

If you are reporting an accident or emergency by cell phone:

  • Be sure you are safe.
  • If you are driving, pull over to a safe spot, turn on your hazard lights (flashers) and stop before calling for help.
  • Be watchful of the potential for additional accidents caused by the first accident.
  • Stay out of the path of oncoming vehicles.

WHN TIP – Be Safe, Be Smart: Never EVER risk your own safety.

Be prepared to give specific information to the agency called:

  • Location of the emergency
  • Road name or number
  • City, state
  • Closest cross street or off-ramp, milepost or other identifiers
  • Direction of travel
  • Any distinguishing landmarks

Describe the nature of the emergency:

  • Crash
  • Reckless or suspected drinking driver
  • Traffic hazard
  • Medical emergency
  • Fire
  • Crime in progress, etc.

WHN TIP – Cell phone numbers for reporting emergencies vary by state, region and city. You should get the current numbers for your area and keep them in your car, purse and wallet for quick reference in event of an emergency.

In every instance, the dispatcher will ask for:

  • Your name
  • Mobile phone number, and home and work phone numbers in case more information is needed.

It is important that you stay on the line until the dispatcher says he or she has enough information to be able to send help.

Above all, after reporting an emergency, cell phone users should never risk their own safety. Calling for trained, professional help is the best approach, although in an immediate life-threatening situation it may be appropriate to take rescue action provided the “rescuer” is not endangered.

WHN TIP – Advice from Experts: Listen to this podcast for tips on how to describe a suspect.