What to do if you Hit a Pedestrian with your Car

Quite often on the news you hear about some random hit-and-run incident, where somebody was out walking somewhere, and some other person came by and hit them with their car, and then, for whatever reason, they choose to drive away rather than help the poor victim. That’s because it’s the ugly things that get on the news. You never hear about the countless others that stop and do the things they should do when they’ve hit someone, which is sort of a problem, because then people never really learn what they should do if they are the ones behind the wheel when such an accident occurs.

If you hit someone, or even think you might have, the very first thing you need to do is stop your car. Don’t drive off in a panic, or drive ahead and turn around. And for pity’s sake, do not back up. Just pull over and stop your car as quickly and as safely as you possibly can. Then turn on your flashers.

Once your car has come to a stop, get out of your vehicle and investigate. Find out if you did in fact hit someone. If you can’t find someone lying right there where you expect them to be, don’t assume you didn’t hit someone, as they could have been knocked some distance from the scene. Check your car to see if there is blood or other evidence of a collision on your car; then look around, moving farther and farther from the scene as you go. Look until you find whoever or whatever you hit.

Once you find the person, if they are immobile or partially so, do whatever is necessary to protect them from further harm, such as being hit by another car as they lie in the roadway. Don’t move them unless it’s the only way to keep them from being hit again. Move your car if need be to put it between them and oncoming traffic. If you have flares, use them.

Once you feel you have them adequately protected them from further harm, go to them to assess their condition. If they are unconscious, check their pulse and watch their chest for breathing. If they are able to move around, ask them to stay still, so they won’t hurt themselves further.

Once you have done a quick assessment, call for help if you have a cell phone. If you don’t, try to flag someone down as quickly as possible. Normally this won’t be a problem as people generally stop when they see something unusual happening in the roadway.

Once the authorities have been notified, return to your victim and if they are able to hear you, ask if there is anything you can do for them. If so, try to do it. But don’t move or touch them unless it’s something simple such as wiping blood out of their eyes. And even though you see it in the movies, do not lift their heads to insert a jacket or towel for use as a pillow. If it’s cold, or even cool, by all means put a jacket or blanket over them though to help keep them warm.

After that, all you can do is wait for the authorities to arrive and hope your victim will be okay.