When arriving at an accident scene, first responders work quickly to create a safe space in which to perform rescues and investigate the cause of the wreck while keeping traffic moving. How they do it below.
The first vehicle to arrive stops before reaching the collision scene and stages 10-20 meters back from the incident. The driver also sets their vehicle's hand brake (or e-brake) tightly in case of a rear impact to prevent the emergency vehicle from being pushed into the scene.
Traffic cones and warning signs are placed in the road to warn oncoming traffic and to direct them out of the lanes that are obstructed.
When fire trucks arrive at the scene they stage further back, parking at a 45-degree angle in what is known as the "fend-off position," which is used as a last resort in case another motorist slams into the scene.
On the highway, approximately 150 meters of cones or other warning devices are placed in the road to protect rescue crews and investigators, though the distance can be less on city streets or roads with slower traffic.
Ambulances are staged on the "safe" side of the scene, which means past the accident but within the cone area. Any other investigation or emergence response vehicles line up on the safe side between the "fend-off" truck or on the other side near the ambulances in a way that doesn't block their path.
Investigators will take as long as they need if it's considered a crime scene, removing vehicles and opening up lanes only after the evidence is collected.
[Info And Image: Arrive Alive South Africa]