So when I arrive at an RTI the first thing I've got to take in to account is my own safety.. I stop my car at a pre-set and pre-specified distance away from the accident scene, this is for my own safety and yours if you are standing near your car in the lane of a live dual carriageway..
I then put on my yellow jacket and try to get out of the car without getting knocked down by the next car to come along and not see the shiny stripy police car covered in flashing blue & red lights that's entirely blocking a lane... and they swerve out of the way (despite having had well over 200 metres to change lanes based on the line of visibility in front of them)..
First things first, IS ANYONE INJURED? DOES ANYONE NEED AN AMBULANCE? check that, if nothing serious I start bunging out traffic cones around the scene of my accident whilst calling the control room for an Ambulance etc.. Reason for this is so that no one else becomes a needless casualty, specially me because I can't help anyone if I'm creamed by some ones Ford Galaxy or similar.
It's a dual carriageway so I have 6 - 8 cones to set out a 100 metre taper.. so I walk off to a 100 metre distance and start putting out cones from the edge of the carriageway to the line at the middle of the two lanes then the last cone or two between my car and the accident scene so that the fire truck or ambulance have a sterile area to pull in to..
What amazes me is that STILL even with a police car blocking a lane 50 metres from the accident (generally) and 100 metres of cones behind that and a clear view of the police car and cones for 100+ metres behind the accident and signs saying "POLICE SLOW" or "POLICE ACCIDENT" out another 50 - 100 metres behind this people STILL wait until the very last minute to merge out in to the other lane causing everyone else to brake hard or take evasive action, or for me to look up and think "OH CRAP" because running through my mind is the fact that someone is going to plough through all my cones, then my car, then me................. see a POLICE sign??? Please SLOW DOWN and LOOK at what is going on!!
WHY don't people read the road a little further than 50 metres in front of their bonnet?
Then when being waved out by another police officer they for some reason decide that means they should just STOP in the MIDDLE of the road bringing EVERYTHING to a halt. OMG how dangerous is that? I've seen it on so many occasions now that it scares me... even when passing through other counties I've been stuck behind someone who decided to do that..
Is it that when the blue lights flash drivers suddenly lose the ability to think? I don't think so because 99% of drivers do just fine and pass around the accident (rubbernecking as they go mostly) and then carry on in their daily lives.. but 1% seem to just lose the ability to pass by without scaring the life out of everyone standing inside of the cones.
Please, DON'T RUBBERNECK, Please MERGE OUT SOONER, Please, Please, Please, DO TAKE NOTICE OF WHAT IS GOING ON.. read the road, it's simpler.
I know however that even with all the precautions it's still one of the most dangerous places for me to be, or anyone else to be.. so for those IN AN ACCIDENT on any road, but most importantly on a dual carriageway, if you CAN get out of your car get out on the NEARSIDE closest to the grass on the side of the road and then STAND BACK AWAY FROM THE CARRIAGEWAY AND THE WRECKAGE!!
I had one person at an accident once say they were going to stay at the side of the car (nearest the LIVE CARRIAGEWAY) because of the animals in the car.. WHAT? NO.. MOVE AWAY FROM THE CAR AND THE ROAD!!
Please think about your own safety as well.. anything IN the car is going to stay there, even if there is someone stuck in the car they are safer there than YOU ARE standing BESIDE the car... so get off the road.
Oh well.. very next accident I go to will probably be exactly the same. I guess it's a problem with having a lot of dual carriageways passing through my patch in every direction. Single lane roads are great because we just shut them down but dual carriageways just scare me every time.
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