How to perform first aid at a traffic accident

January 31, 2022

On average, five people die every day on the road in Great Britain and countless more are seriously injured. When you arrive at a traffic accident, whether you are directly involved or the first passerby you should be looking out for any possible hazards that may pose a risk to those involved.

Traffic accidents can happen in a multitude of different ways that each call for different approaches. However, one skill that is universal for almost all circumstances is first aid. In this blog, we will cover some of the tips and tricks that can help you know what to do. Take one of our First Aid courses to properly gain the confidence to help.

First steps:

  • When approaching an accident scene it is really important to ensure your own safety. Make sure that all traffic has stopped. Ensure everyone is aware that there has been an accident otherwise there may be additional casualties.
  • Be aware of oncoming traffic to ensure that it is not posing an additional danger.
  • Note if there is any fuel spillage or potential fire risk – turn off car ignitions if possible. Put on vehicle hazard lights and use a warning triangle if there is one available.
  • If other people are around; get them to phone the emergency services.
  • If you are on your own, assess the situation and treat any life-threatening conditions first.
  • Establish how many vehicles have been involved and ensure no one involved has life-threatening injuries.

Important checkpoints:

  • If the person is not breathing you will need to resuscitate – if you are on your own and have not called an ambulance, do this now they will give you advice on how to proceed.
  • Only remove an unconscious person from a vehicle if there is an immediate danger to their life. This can be from threats like fire, flood, or explosion.
  • Ask the emergency services over the phone what you should do. It is difficult to remove an unconscious person from a vehicle and there is a possiblity that you could worsen their injuries and injure yourself in the process.
  • Conscious casualties should be in the care of bystanders and removed from the wreckage to a safe area. Be aware of confused and dazed casualties who may wander into danger. Brief the bystanders to keep the casualties warm and calm and help them to contact the next of kin. Look for any major bleeding and life-threatening injuries and treat these first.
  • Note the nature of the wreckage and be aware of possible injuries as a result: bodies are softer than metalwork, so if there is major damage to the vehicle it is possible that there could be internal injuries to the casualty – ensure the bystanders notify you if there is any change in the casualty’s condition.
  • You should monitor anyone trapped in a vehicle carefully and notify the emergency services immediately, this includes the exact time of the accident. If there are additional people around, show them how to support the person’s neck to avoid them twisting as there is the possibility of a spinal injury.
  • Wear clean gloves to prevent infection and apply dressings if trying to control severe bleeding.




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