I called 911 today after I saw a car crash into a fence (I assumed the several other drivers who saw it would not call). Would you call 911 if you saw a crash on a busy street with several witnesses nearby?
The bystander effect is real. I'd call. It's better to have 10 class than no calls.
Never assume that someone else will make the call. You did the right thing. If 911 has multiple people calling in then it is verification of the incident.
This is a difficult one. I would check with the driver first. At most departments, the at fault driver is always going to get a ticket. Even if they just run off the road and hit a tree. If the driver is ok, calling us isn't always the best option. Not saying you shouldn't, but nobody likes getting tickets haha.
Well I figured that the police would eventually get there, so sooner would be better than later. They might have been drunk or had a heart attack or just had mechanical failure. But I figured it would be better to have emergency personnel on the scene just in case.
Not automatically. I stop and check on the driver and passengers first. I'm not the one to call 911 though -- I take charge of the situation and instruct somebody else nearby to call 911 if necessary while I administer first aid.
I don't consider just somebody mowing down a fence to be an emergency that requires emergency response. Not if they're not seriously injured and/or unresponsive.
In other words, I find it best to keep 911 lines clear unless it's absolutely necessary to contact them.
Well that's the thing though, I'm not sure how many people would stop and be able or willing to apply first aid. I figure it would be better to get the professionals out there.
I would, though. So I don't need to worry about whether somebody else will as long as I know I will. What I'm saying is that I personally wouldn't be so quick to 911 right away due to being properly trained and certified to assess the situation first. No serious injuries = not a 911 situation. The driver can call the non-emergency police line to report the accident, per usual.
I have done that, in fact.
I've called before when I've seen an accident.
Absolutely, I do it all the time.
I've done it three times.