What do you do if you’re hurt in a crash but don’t speak English?

There are many people in the United States who don’t speak English as a first language. Many speak English as a second language or barely speak any at all. There is no shame in that, and your language should not be a barrier thanks to today’s technology and the support that are available.

Getting into a crash can be horrible if you don’t understand what others are saying (or if they can’t understand you). If that happens, here are a few things you can do.

Tell the emergency operator the language you speak

Emergency operators are experienced and have the ability to get translators for you if they don’t speak the same language as you. Once a translator is on the line, they can help translate the information you’re providing and will let the police, fire department and others know that you speak Spanish or another language. The translator may stay on the line to support the emergency team, and you, as long as they are needed.

Stay in your vehicle, and stay calm

The next thing to do is to stay in your vehicle and stay calm. The only exception is if it’s dangerous to stay where you are. If that is the case, then move to the nearest safe area to wait for the emergency team to arrive.

If you have your phone, use a translator

If you want to speak with others at the scene (or need to in an emergency), try using a translator on your phone. It’s a good way to speak with one another temporarily.

These are some ideas on how to handle a crash if you don’t speak English. Help will be on the way in your native language.

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