What would you do if you chanced upon an accident on the road? Normally, there’s a moral obligation placed upon anybody to render assistance to anybody whose life could be at stake, be it from a crash or any other circumstance.
The first question you should ask yourself is whether the prevailing conditions are safe. If it is on an extremely busy highway, it may not be wise to get out and try to stop traffic. There have been many accidents reported when well-meaning Good Samaritans got out on a busy road to assist accident victims. In most cases it’s only police who can clear or redirect traffic, because they are usually well dressed in reflective gear and uniformed, and motorists respond better to police direction. So as you go on to help, remember your own safety has to be paramount as well.
The greatest help you could give to the victims when you see an accident is to call the police or any emergency services you may be aware of onto the scene. Give them as clear directions as possible and try and describe the scene to them as you best can. The information could be in form of: manner of accident e.g. crash, tyre burst or head-on collision; number of people involved, extent of injuries (if possible). Even if you are trained as a First Aid responder you should still call for help first.
As you approach the scene of accident, exercise lots of caution. Assess it for any danger signs. You need to be aware of broken glass, jagged metal, fuel on the road, oil spillages, broken powerlines, etc. Once you ensure you are safe then the patient is going to be safe too. Keep your hands off the victims as much as possible. Try to check if they are responsive by calling out, and if possible reassure them that help is on the way.
The patients should not be moved unless it was absolutely safe and necessary to do so. There is the danger of spinal injuries or making injuries worse. If you do not need to move these patients, do not move them. Medical personnel have the right equipment can do that safely without further injuring the patients.
More often than not, the taker of your emergency call is trained to tell you exactly what to do with those patients, whether to touch them, when not to touch them, where to stand, where not to stand and you should be careful to follow the instructions carefully.
As a final to-do at a crash site, stay with the victim and try to reassure them as much as possible until help arrives. Try to give the police or emergency responders as much information as you can and if possible leave only after they ‘release’ you.