According to the statistics published by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), approximately 2,000 people are killed, and 165,000 are injured every year while using the road transportation system.
Having established that, we would like to add that knowing road accident first-aid can save thousands of lives if responders happen to be on the scene. However, it’s vital to ensure your safety before you interfere.
Ensure you signal to incoming traffic that there’s been an accident to avoid any further damage or casualties. This will help you focus on the victim without worrying about getting hit. Once that’s done, call your nearest hospital or police station immediately and proceed with caution.
Regardless of the severity of the accident, there are several ways to assist victims until professional help arrives. We’ve listed them down for you in case you’re ever the first one on the scene of an accident.
1. Turn Off the Ignition
In the case of road accidents and collisions, there is always a likelihood of fuel spillage. That’s why your first step should be to turn off the car’s ignition. This will decrease the likelihood of any explosive reactions that could worsen the situation.
2. Check for Signs of Breathing
When you approach the victim, check for visible signs of breathing instead of putting your ear to their chest. If they’re breathing, they’re safe to be handled, and if not, you should wait for emergency services to arrive.
3. Be Wary of Sudden Movements
If the victim is conscious, ask them to slowly move their limbs to check for any physical injuries themself. However, if the victim is unconscious, be extremely cautious while checking for injuries. The victim may have suffered from a spinal injury, which might aggravate because of sudden movements.
4. Shift the Victim
Once you’ve ensured it’s safe to move the victim, try bringing them to the side of the road to avoid danger. While shifting, be careful to keep their neck and back straight in case they’ve suffered internal injuries.
5. Perform First-aid CPR
If the victim suddenly stops breathing, it’s possible their body is going into trauma-induced shock. If you’re sure they haven’t incurred spinal injuries, perform first-aid CPR to keep their heart beating until the ambulance arrives.
6. Turn Them to the Side
Try to keep the victim on their side or bent forward, if possible, to keep their airway open. Victims might vomit, and lying down can lead to choking.
7. Do Not Try to Remove the Helmet
If it’s a motorbike accident, try not to remove the victim’s helmet. Only if you’re unsure about their consciousness should you attempt to do so. Try getting instructions on the phone from a medic and proceed with caution.
Metro Safety provides first-aid training regularly if you’re worried about road accident first-aid and would like to be professionally trained. Sign up for their sessions and become a trained first responder.