Let’s say you are driving, and like every safe driver, are keeping your hands and eyes off your smartphone. In front of you, on a busy road or freeway, you watch in horror as another car rear ends the vehicle in front of you, causing that vehicle to flip. What should you do?

First and foremost consider scene safety. By this I mean make sure that you carefully move your car to the side of the road in an area that is safe to park. Call 911.

The real question is whether you should try to help the driver trapped in the vehicle. If the scene is not safe-in other words if for example, cars are still whipping by, as awful as this sounds, you should not try to rescue the driver or any other persons in the vehicle.

Why? For one thing, it won’t help anyone if you by moving into traffic and cause another accident. If you were injured, you wouldn’t be able to help the occupants of that car. Finally, moving a person out of a car with a potential neck injury is risky.

What if the car were on fire? Well, in that rare condition, carefully consider whether or not you are willing to take that risk.

The bottom line is always call 911 first (after safely stopping your vehicle) and then ask whether it is safe for you to exit your vehicle, before you assist others.