We all dread the thought of being involved in a serious car accident, but it’s important to remember that it can happen to anyone at any time. Even the most careful drivers can be caught up in someone else’s recklessness, and bad weather conditions can render our usually-safe roads dangerous.
Luckily there are plenty of things we can do to prepare for this frightening event, preparations which can mean the difference between life and death if someone in the car has been seriously injured.
Taking immediate action in the event of a car accident
Whether you are in the car that has been in the accident or are simply the first to arrive at the scene, the most important thing to do first is to ensure that the scene of the accident is safe. This means turning off the engines of the cars involved if possible, and turning on hazard lights to warn other drivers of the danger. If there are injured people involved, call an ambulance first, before you do anything else. Next, approach the casualty or casualties. If one is silent or clearly unconscious, deal with them first. Unconsciousness is usually a sign of more serious and life-threatening injury.
Know some first aid basics
Gently approach the unconscious casualty, making sure not to move them. Tap them, speak to them, and attempt to wake them. If there is no response, assess whether or not they are breathing by watching their chest or putting an ear to their mouth. If they are not breathing, look for obstructions in their airway. If it is clear, begin CPR immediately. CPR is a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths that manually pumps oxygen around the body, keeping the casualty alive and helping to ‘jump-start’ their own respiration.
If anyone in the car is bleeding, it’s important to know how to stop the bleeding immediately. Find a clean rag or cloth and press it firmly on the wound, raising the limb as you do so. If there is more than one bleeding person in the car, ask whichever is most able to compress their own wound until the ambulance arrives. As a lay person, there is only ever so much you can do, but these simple steps can give casualties the extra minutes they need until the paramedics arrive.
What to do if you or your loved ones are injured in a car accident
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, you may be able to claim for injury compensation, even if the driver who caused the accident wasn’t insured. Accident Advice Helpline is open 24/7 to give you more information on how much compensation you could receive.
Date Published: November 17, 2013
Author: David Brown