SAFETY DOC PODCAST #62: First Upon An Accident | Interview with Justin Dooley

PODCAST-International Man of Mystery Justin Dooley shares his harrowing experience of arriving first to a gruesome motorcycle accident scene while donned in formal wedding attire. In the second half of the show, he challenges Safety Doc Podcast host David Perrodin to select the best safety items to keep in a vehicle. This episode addresses the moral and practical considerations of stopping to render assistance at a vehicle accident. Ultimately, is the best option to remain in your vehicle and dial 911? Jumper cables, a window hammer, revolutionizing potable water storage, glowing cats and traversing the town at night in a full black running suit – don’t miss this episode of the ages!


DIRECT LINK to MP3 of this Episode:



Justin mentions the moral check that crossed his mind as he arrived upon a man who had wiped out his motorcycle on a busy road. With little mental wrangling, Justin defaulted to stopping to lend help to the injured man. Upon reflection, David and Justin surface numerous personal safety issues one is exposed to when trying to assist at the scene of accident. What if the victim becomes combative? What if an inattentive driver hits you? How about the new powerful mind-altering drugs that penetrate traditional gloves – is this person impaired due to an overdose? Am I opening myself to liability by being a part of this?


Justin shares how the injured man just wanted a towel to keep the sun from his eyes. With regret, Justin, who has, but does not endorse, a Snuggie, did not have a towel. The instinct to rush to someone’s aid can be at one’s own peril. David recalls that during his firefighter training he was instructed to never step off a rig without first surveying the scene for downed power lines. Surprisingly, many bystanders retrieve their phones and record the scene as if capturing footage for a documentary. David suggests taking a few photos of the scene to potentially assist police in understanding the context before vehicles or people are moved and to also document license plates in case someone flees.


As the show progressed it became apparent that the best course of action upon arriving at an accident was to find a safe place to pull over and then dial 911 – especially in construction zones with very narrow shoulders. Describe what you see to the 911 dispatcher, your location (this can be quickly ascertained if you have a GPS or OnStar), and then ask the 911 dispatcher what you should do. Should you try to position your car to serve as a buffer between the victim and traffic? How about checking on the vital signs of the victim? Does following the dispatcher’s suggestions provide you with a layer of legal protection?


Generated from a hybrid list of the suggestions by Justin and David, the following were deemed to be the top safety items to keep in your vehicle: first aid kit; tire pump; jumper cables; industrial glow stick; Snuggie; portable phone charger; and window smasher!


Looking for Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD?

Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at



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