What do you do immediately after a crash? Experts say it's probably wrong.

Posted: Updated:

Sunday's bad weather raised concerns about how Kansans react after an accident.  Whether it's sliding off the road or a car-on-car crash it's instinct to get out of the car and check what's happened. But first responders want you to sit still until help arrives.

When the winds pick up and the snow starts to fall, Kansans slide off roads and into each other.

"You have your lock ups, your jam ups and your wrecks, you know," said B.J. Lord, who's passing through Wichita.  He said the worst thing about Sunday's storm, was the other drivers.  "You have a few people that seem to think they can drive 100 mile an hour cause they've got four wheel drive.  Then they are darting in and out of traffic."

The experts say what happens after an accident can be just as dangerous.

"Get out, loOK at the damage, and say, 'Oh are you ok?  I'm so sorry,'" said Jay Wyckoff, a Wichita driver.  Sunday he decided to stay home rather than risk driving through the storm.  "I was supposed to go to Kansas City yesterday.  Obviously, I chose not to because it was a blizzard."

Others decided to risk it.  

Sunday morning in Kiowa County, slick roads caused a two vehicle collision.  One of the drivers, a 71-year-old McPherson man, got out of his car to check the damage.  As he was returning to his car a Jeep hit him, killing him.

Kansas State Trooper Nicholas Delperdang says it's normal to want to get out and check, even in an accident in the middle of Sunday's storm.

"When I arrived, they were all outside the vehicle.  Three people were actually standing in the middle of the road.  It was so icy that I had to question whether I was going to be able to stop," Delperdang said.  "That's pretty well how it goes every time we show up. even on a nice day like this."

That's exactly the opposite of what's recommended.

"The advice is to stay inside your vehicle.  Check yourself, check your passengers," explained Trooper Delperdang.  

There are a number of reasons for this advice.  Whether it's the middle of a blizzard or on a sunny day, troopers say one of the biggest dangers is actually the speed of the traffic flying past.

"You don't want to get in the way of traffic.  You don't want to have someone staring at you and actually steer into you," Delperdang added.

That's assuming they even see you.  Whether it's blowing snow or just a curve in the road, visibility is another big problem.

"They'll always see a vehicle, for the most part.  But if you're a pedestrian standing beside it or behind it, they're not going to see you," he said.

And if weather was behind one accident, it could cause more.

"When the roads are bad enough that you slide off the road it's very reasonable that somebody else could slide off the road in the exact same area," Delperdang said.

"I think it's good advice," said Wyckoff.  "I've seen way too many vehicles of people who get out, they're off to the side of the highway. and usually the reason they wrecked is because of the slick ice.  And so the other cars are coming and the next thing you know you've got a giant vehicle flying at you off the side of the road."

Going against instinct isn't easy but it could be a lifesaver.

"I think a person needs some training.  My dad was an over the road truck driver and he taught me how to drive," said Maryln Dryden, a Wichita driver.  "I would hope that they would be smart enough in this kind of weather that they would have a blanket in their car, food, water, things like that, and wait for help."