Reporting Accidents
and Emergencies

Know when to call and how to report an emergency.
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Reporting Accidents And Emergencies

When to Call an Emergency Agency?

An incident is considered an emergency if it requires immediate attention from police, fire fighters, or professional emergency personal. In the United States, 9-1-1 is the universal emergency number. Cities, states, and regions may also have their own local numbers for reporting emergencies. (web link:

What to Know before Calling to Report an Emergency

Pull over, turn on your hazard lights and stop before calling. You cannot drive safely while on the phone.
Location of the Emergency
Road name or number, city, closest cross street or off-ramp, milepost or other identifier, direction of travel, and any distinguishing landmarks.
Nature of the Emergency
Crash, reckless or suspected drinking driver, traffic hazard, medical emergency, fire, crime in progress, etc.
Stay Calm
Answer all of the dispatcher’s questions. This will help them get the necessary help as fast as possible.
Don’t Hang Up
Stay on the line until the dispatcher is finished asking questions. Even if you call by accident, don’t hang up until telling the dispatcher that there is no emergency. Otherwise the dispatcher might send out the police to check for an emergency.
Offering Assistance
If anyone approaches to offer assistance, open the window slightly and ask the person to call the police or towing service. Ask uniformed personnel to show identification.

A caller should stay on the line until the dispatcher says he or she has enough information to be able to send help.