Driving Test Success

Road Traffic Accidents - What to Do and How To Cope

If ever you are unlucky enough to be involved a traffic accident then you will be legally obliged to follow certain procedures.

If the accident causes damage or injury to any other person, vehicle, animal or property then you must:

You must abide by these requirements even if you were not directly involved in the accident. Fail to do so and you will be committing two criminal offences - failing to stop and failing to report. Sentencing guidelines state if you are convicted of either you can face a fine of up to £5000, have five and to penalty points placed on your driving licence and be banned from driving.

Insurance Issues

In order to have a smooth insurance claim it is vital that you record as much detailed info as is possible. Insurance claims can be tricky, long winded affairs especially if no one takes overall responsibility for the accident. Remember your no claims bonus could be on the line. Take photos of the scene using your mobile phone or camera. If you do not have access to a camera then try and make a sketch of the scene.

It is important that you try and gather as much information as you can. If you're able to take some photos of the accident then do so. At the very least try and draw a sketch of the accident scene. You must also obtain:

Offering Assistance At The Scene Of An Accident

If ever you find yourself at the scene of a road accident then follow the golden rule - never put yourself at unnecessary risk. However, if you can safely offer assistance then this is what you should do.

Dangerous Goods Vehicles

If a dangerous goods vehicle is involved:

First Aid At The Scene Of An Accident

The golden rules:

  1. You must only ever remove an injured person from a vehicle if it is absolutely necessary to do so.

  2. Only remove a motorcyclist's helmet if it is essential to clear their airways.

  3. Try and keep anyone who is injured as warm as you can.

  4. Offer reassurance to any injured person but don't give them anything to eat, drink or smoke.

  5. If a person is unconscious first check their breathing. Clear any obstruction to the airways and loosen tight clothing. If breathing doesn't restart give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. To do this, lift the chin and tilt the head backwards. Pinch the person's nostrils and blow into the mouth until you see the chest rise. Repeat every four seconds until the person can breathe without assistance or until an ambulance arrives.

  6. To stop heavy bleeding you should apply firm hand pressure over the open wound using some clean material.

  7. If a casualty has burns to the skin then douse the burns with cool liquid but do not remove anything sticking to the burns.

People who are unconscious should be given priority. To help you remember what to do, think DR ABC:

Airway - place one hand on the forehead and two fingers under the chin and gently tilt the head back.

Breathing - with the airway open, check breathing by placing your cheek over the casualties mouth and nose, listen and feel for breath, and look to see if the chest rises. Do this for ten seconds.

Compressions - if you detect no breathing, place two hands in the centre of the chest and press down 4-5cms at a rate of 100 per minute. You may only need one hand for a child. Give 30 chest compressions.

Then tilt the head back gently, pinch the casualty's nostrils together and place your mouth over theirs. Give two breaths, each lasting 1 second. For a child use gentle breaths.

Continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths until medical help arrives.

For Children under one year old the same procedure should be used, however:

To watch a video showing you how to give mouth-to-mouth.

If a casualty is unconscious but breathing place them on their side in the recovery position, see image below.

Recovery Position

Dealing With Bleeding

Dealing With Shock

The effects of shock may not be obvious. However, look out for:

To treat a person in shock:

Treating Burns

Douse the burn in cool liquid for at least ten minutes. Try and use clean and non-toxic liquid.

Never remove anything that is sticking to the burn.

Author Richard Jenkins

Copyright © Richard Jenkins. All rights reserved worldwide