Accidents happen so fast, and they are scary, even if it’s only a small fender bender. What can be even more terrifying is when you’re driving along and happen on an accident, especially when you don’t know what to do. Not only is it dangerous, but the injuries you’ll see might cause panic. At Netstar, your road safety is a top priority; hence, we want to share advice about what you should do when you are the first to arrive on the scene of an accident.
- Be safe.
Before you stop the car, be sure that it’s a safe environment. You’ll be of very little help to others if you get hurt yourself. When you stop on the shoulder of the road, switch on your hazards and put out your emergency triangle to give other motorists ample warning to slow down. Also, be cognisant of hazardous elements such as fuel, hostile bystanders, dangerous animals, etc. If there is a damaged power pole near the car with loose wires, stay away.
- Assess the injuries.
Be careful not to move the injured person if there’s a chance they might’ve injured their head, back or neck. The only time you can move someone with such an injury is if they’re in immediate danger of being hurt worse or if you need to administer CPR. When moving injured people, remember to support their limbs properly.
- When there’s blood.
Unless it’s absolutely necessary, do not remove any object impaling the injured person. If they are bleeding heavily, apply pressure to the wound with a piece of clothing. Remember, always wear gloves before you touch an open wound or the bodily fluids of another person.
- When they’re not breathing
The only time that you should attempt CPR or to resuscitate someone is if you’re trained to do so. When you perform CPR or mouth-to-mouth without knowing exactly what you’re doing, you can cause more harm. If the individual is unconscious, check to ensure they are breathing and that their airways aren’t blocked by blood or vomit.
- Stop it.
When the injured person is out of danger, switch off the vehicle. A running motor can lead to additional damage and havoc. Also, be adamant that no one smokes near the accident scene – there might be fuel on the road which could ignite.
- Call for help.
Once you have an idea of the situation, phone the emergency services. Remember to give the operator your number immediately so that they can phone you back if the call is dropped. Now, tell the operator where you are (if you’re unsure, describe the surrounding landmarks), and describe the scene and emergency. Important nationwide emergency numbers are:
Emergency response: 10111
Cell phone emergency: 112
- Keep them talking.
Speak to the driver or injured person. Ask them about the other passengers, especially children, so that you can look for them as well. It’s important to keep injured people conscious until help arrives. Also, should the person be stuck in a vehicle, stay with them until help arrives.
- Keep them covered.
Put a blanket over the person; it will keep them warm and help reduce shock. Also, if the person is wearing a helmet, leave it on but open the visor and loosen the strap.
Be sure you and your loved ones are safe when you’re on the road; trust Netstar’s variety of tracking devices to find you. Better yet, a panic button comes standard with our Safe and Sound Early Warning subscription, allowing you to call on us in your hour of need. Call 0860 12 24 36 or visit www.netstar.co.za to speak to us about our Safe and Sound packages.