Involved in a crash but don’t speak English? Don’t worry

Living in Lexington, you probably know how congested the roads can be. New Circle Road is a terror during certain parts of the day, and trying to get across town can take hours if you get caught in traffic. Whether you’re trying to get to Versailles Road to the local Spanish clinic or you’re heading to Russel Cave Road to go to the Mexican supermercado, the chance of getting into a crash is high.

Most of the trouble with the roads comes from the fact that there is simply a ton of traffic. On top of that, school is out from June through August, meaning that there are many more people on the roads. A vast number of people in Lexington are not from Kentucky, meaning that they are unfamiliar with the roads and may make mistakes, especially since U-turns are legal.

As a Spanish speaker, you may be concerned about getting into a collision, because your English may not be good enough to help you get the support you need. Fortunately, there are many people who are bilingual, so getting help should not be a problem.

What do you do if you’re involved in a crash but only speak Spanish?

To start with, it’s a smart idea to ask if the other party also speaks Spanish. You may be surprised at how many people speak Spanish in Lexington. Even people who don’t look Hispanic or Spanish often speak Spanish thanks to the incredible number of people who do throughout the city.

If the other person doesn’t speak any Spanish and you’re able to use it, try a translator such as Google Translate. You can call 911 first, and explain to the operator that you will need someone who is bilingual at the scene. Then, while you wait, you can try to use a translator to communicate if you’re familiar with one. Many younger people are familiar with translators, so if your crash is with a teen or young adult, communication should not be a problem.

When the authorities arrive, at least one person who arrives will speak Spanish or be able to get a translator on the line to help. Spanish is not uncommon in Lexington, so simply explaining that you don’t speak English — “no Ingles” — is enough to get your point across, and someone will quickly find a way to help you communicate with the authorities and others involved in the crash.


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