Story last updated at 3:12 p.m. Thursday, December 19, 2002

Driver manual provides safety tips
Morris News Service-Alaska
What do you do if you're the first one on the scene of an accident with injuries? What if you hit a moose?

Motorists should have answers to these questions, but often the information gets filed away much like all the specific coverage contained in their insurance policies.

Toward the back of the Alaska Driver Manual, available at any Division of Motor Vehicles office, is a list of things to do in case of an accident.

After stopping safely and warning other traffic, to avoid additional accidents, motorists are instructed to help anyone who may be hurt.

"Do not remove an injured person unless absolutely necessary. Arrange for an ambulance if needed. Stop serious bleeding and keep the victim warm."

According to state statutes, people in Alaska are not held liable for rendering emergency aid.

"There have been a number of incidents in Alaska where lives have been because of aid given by good Samaritans," said Greg Wilkinson, Alaska State Troopers spokesperson.

"If someone's not breathing and you have (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training, by all means stop and help," he said, adding people shouldn't put themselves in harm's way.

With regard to accidents involving wildlife, big game animals killed or injured in a vehicular accident are the property of the state, according to the driver manual.

"The operator of a motor vehicle that collides with a big game animal resulting in death or injury of the animal is required to notify a state trooper, or a fish and wildlife officer as soon as possible. The motorist is not allowed to dispatch the animal," Wilkinson said. "They must wait until law enforcement arrives and (kills) the animal.

"At our dispatch centers, we have a list of individuals or (charitable) agencies that will go get the animal within a half hour," he said.