We’ve all seen them. Video or pictures of the scene of a terrible motor vehicle accident. It’s something we hope never happens to us, or our loved ones. Especially a serious accident that causes any kind of medical trauma.
Unfortunately, motor vehicle crashes are a fact of life. Each year, hundreds of thousands of accidents occur on our streets and highways. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 1.35 million people die in car accidents per annum globally. As drivers on the road, we should be prepared to deal with the situation if we are ever involved in an accident. That’s why we’ve interviewed some EMTs to provide you with some tips and rules for surviving a serious car accident.
- Pull off the road if possible: If you are in the middle of the road and your car is drivable, pull of to the side of the road.
- Call 911 immediately: If you’ve been involved in an accident where someone has been injured, the first thing you need to do is call for help.
- Stay calm: Staying calm is not only important for yourself, but also for anybody else that is with you. It is especially if you are on the phone with emergency responders. In the chaos of an accident, it’s easy to get disoriented and panicked, but keeping a clear head can help you make quick and effective decisions. It will also help you to assess the situation and make a plan to get out of it.
- Turn on your hazards: If you are in a car, make sure that you turn on your hazards to try and prevent other cars from crashing into you. Especially if you were unable to move your vehicle.
- If there is bleeding, apply pressure: First, you want to make sure that there is no foreign object in the person where the bleeding is occurring. If there is not a foreign object, you will need to apply direct pressure to the site of the bleeding. You may need to use a t-shirt or whatever you have available. If the bleeding is excessive, you will need to apply pressure until the EMTs have arrived.
- Check for breathing and a pulse: If someone was knocked unconscious, you will want to check to make sure they are breathing and if they have a pulse. Look for movement in the chest and listen for sounds of breathing. Do not shake the person, as this can make their injuries worse. One of the most common causes of death for road crash fatalities is anoxia, a lack of oxygen supply caused by a blocked airway., so checking to see if their airway is clear is very important.
- If the person is not breathing, perform CPR: While you are waiting for the ambulance, CPR may be required if the person is not breathing and is unconscious. If you know how, perform CPR. If you don’t know how, ask if anyone nearby is CPR trained.
- Do not move the person unless necessary: If the person happens to have a spinal cord injury, moving them might make their injury much worse. However, if they are in the middle of the road or there is a car fire or any other eminent danger, you may not have a choice but to pull them to safety.
- Do not allow anyone to smoke or use a lighter near the crash scene: You definitely do not want anyone near anything that potentially can cause an explosion to happen. Make sure that you don’t let anyone near the scene that is smoking or using a lighter.
Keep an Accident Survival Kit in Your Vehicle
In case of an accident, you will be much more prepared in the event by having a “car accident survival kit” kept inside of your vehicle at all times. You can either order yourself a kit online, or just make one yourself. Your accident survival kit should include items like:
- CPR face shields
- Variety of bandages
- Gauze rolls
- Window punch
- Car seatbelt cutter
- Instant cold pack
- Glow sticks
- Distress banner
- Work gloves with a leather palm
- Fluorescent vest
- Pen and paper
- First Aid Handbook
Obviously, we hope that you are never in an accident. However, being prepared and knowing what to do will help you in case you ever get in one. By following these expert tips from emergency responders, you will be much better equipped to handle the aftermath of any accident.