In support of Motorcycle Awareness Day – we’ve put together some points to help you deal with an accident,, whether you’re a motorcyclist or involved in an incident with one.
If you’re the person involved in the accident or you’re the first on scene, there are a number of things you can do to help before qualified medical personnel arrive that could save a life…
Don’t go anywhere
If you leave the scene of an accident you’re involved in before fulfilling certain obligations, then you could be committing an offence. Call 999 for the police straight away, if the accident has created hazards for other people, traffic, or if someone’s suffered injuries.
Immediately after an accident or crash, adrenaline and emotions can run high – it’s therefore very important that you remain as calm as possible.
Pause for a moment, and take in a few deep breaths to help you stay calm and focused. Taking control of the situation, while staying calm, will have a similar effect on anyone else around you, and ensure things don’t quickly spiral into a panic.
Assess the accident
The most important thing to do is check that no one, including yourself, has suffered a serious or life threatening injury – look around for any additional dangers, keep clear of them or if they can be removed without risk to yourself, then do so.
Switch off engines, turn on any hazard lights, and try to warn oncoming traffic of the incident if possible.
Always assess the situation thoroughly before attempting to attend to the victim(s) of the accident. If helping them will also put you in danger, then don’t.
Check for a response and reassure
If you’re able to, check for responsiveness from anyone that’s been injured, simply by talking to them calmly. Make an effort to reassure them, as they will often be in a scared and confused state of mind following an accident.
It’s very important to make sure that any injured person doesn’t try to move, or move their bike. If they have responded normally to you, then continue to reassure them until emergency services arrive.
Providing first aid
Firstly, after you’ve established the seriousness of any injuries, you should call for an ambulance if you haven’t done so already. Give them as many details as possible on the call, including the location, how many people are involved, and also your details and phone number.
You should never attempt to remove the rider’s helmet if they are still breathing normally, as there’s a possibility they may have sustained head injuries. Only remove the helmet if their airway is blocked, or if they’ve stopped breathing.
If the injured person is unconscious – check that any airways are clear, and their circulation.
You can monitor the person’s pulse either by pressing lightly on their throat, either side of the wind pipe/adam’s apple, or on their wrist.
When no pulse is present or if the person is clearly not breathing, this overrides any concerns relating to head or spinal injuries – so ensure that you remove the helmet as carefully as possible before performing CPR.
If you’re unsure when performing CPR, then ask for advice from the ambulance operator on the phone.
In case of bleeding
Unfortunately, due to riders being more exposed – a high amount of motorcycle accidents involve injuries to the arteries, like the femur that runs along the inner thigh. If these are compromised, it can result in a person bleeding to death very quickly.
Try to control the blood flow coming out of the femur artery, by applying pressure to the area above the cut. If there are any sterile bandages available at the scene, these can also be used to stop the bleeding. Again ask the ambulance operator for any advice, and to walk you through exactly what you need to do.
Exchange and record info
Exchange details with anyone else involved in the accident – names, addresses, contact numbers and insurance details.
Take note of the vehicles involved, including the make, model, registration and colour. If anyone refuses to share their details, it’s best to inform the police.
If you’re able to do so, it’s advisable to make notes on how exactly the accident happened, take pictures that include road or street signs, along with any distinctive landmarks to make the location easily identifiable.
Any evidence that you can collect and make a record of at the time could help you when it comes to making a claim. Remember, most bike insurance policies require you to report an accident as soon as you can.
Avoiding an accident altogether is of course the most important point of all – with this in mind we are supporting Motorcycle Awareness Day, held on the 11th February by Ace Cafe London.
There will be plenty of information, activities, training, talks and more regarding motorcycle safety on the day.