You’re driving along, turn a corner and you see a car go off the road and flip. What would you do (other than call 911)? Many of us simple assume “someone else” would always respond first at an accident scene, but what if you’re the only one there? Here are some basic steps to learn in case you’re ever in this situation. Remember, your actions could make the difference in someone living or dying.
*Keep an emergency kit in your truck containing road flairs, 2-3 pressurized cans of Fix-A- Flat, emergency light that plugs into car lighter, and a basic first aid kit containing examination gloves in case of blood or body fluids.
First 3 Steps
1- Call 911 before doing anything else! Whether there appears to be injuries or not, they should be notified.
2- Take Control of the Area. Precious time can be wasted if no one takes control of what is happening.
If someone else is there, get them to SAFELY direct traffic around the accident area. If night, turn on emergency blinkers and set out road flairs.
3- Turn Off All Engines of Vehicles Involved in the Accident. If there is a leak in a gas tank, even the smallest spark from an engine could set the entire scene into flames.
The ABC’s Of Emergency Care
(Put On Gloves From Emergency Kit First Thing)
A- Airway – Is the person’s airway clear? Check to see if the person is breathing. If not, do a deep finger sweep of the mouth to remove any objects that may be in the mouth. If the person makes a sudden lunge to sit up, let them. This is often a reflex to try and clear an airway.
B- Breathing – Look, listen and feel to see if the person is breathing by placing your ear close to the mouth and nose to detect breathing. Look at the chest and abdomen to see if it rises and falls.
If there is no breathing, gently tilt the back and begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
C- Circulation – Check the victim’s circulation by feeling for the pulse at the carotid artery in the neck. If there are neck injuries, check for a pulse at the femoral artery in the thigh/groin area. If there is no pulse, begin CPR if possible.
Control any external bleeding by applying direct pressure.
In 2009, 93 people were killed in car accidents each day in the US. With a little foresight and knowledge this number could decrease in the future. Your actions could be the deciding factor in whether someone lives or dies. What if you were the one in the accident. Wouldn’t you hope the first people on the scene knew some of the basics that could save your life…or the life of your child or spouse?