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What to do after a road crash

JOHANNESBURG – Arrive Alive has provided a few tips on how to handle an emergency and road collisions.

Accidents happen anytime and anywhere, and coming across an accident while out on the road can be a frightening and stressful experience.

Not only is it a dangerous environment to disembark from your vehicle but the sight of injured people or children can induce panic in the toughest of people.

Arrive Alive has given the following tips on how to deal with these situations when you come across them. 

What to do first:

  • Pull your vehicle over
  • Park in a safe position off the road
  • Turn on your hazard lights and headlights. (Any and all lighting that may help other motorists see that there has been an accident and let them know to slow down is necessary. Don’t put your on bright lights as this may temporarily blind oncoming motorists)
  • If the accident is on a blind rise or bend, parking your vehicle back from the accident in a ‘fend-off’ position so vehicles see the accident scene, may help prevent further accidents.
  • Put out your warning triangles if you have them

Next, phone the emergency services and make sure you have the following information ready:

  • Your telephone number (so they can remain in contact with you should you be cut off)
  • Your location (street name and nearest crossroad)
  • The details of what has happened, how many people are injured, whether there is e fire, etc.

Assisting the injured

  • Safety – Do not attempt heroics which may potentially jeopardise your own safety. Your safety comes first, before that of the injured. You are of no use to anyone if you become injured while attempting to help others
  • If there is a fire or flames and you have a fire extinguisher, use it and direct the foam or water at the base of the flames
  • Do not move the patient or attempt to remove them from the vehicle unless there is an immediate threat to life (such as if the car is on fire and you are unable to extinguish it). There may be an underlying injury to the neck or spine and unnecessary movement could make this worse
  • If the person is unconscious, open their mouth and check to see if there is nothing inside causing an obstruction
  • Check if the person is breathing
  • If the patient is breathing, leave them in the position you found them and monitor them regularly
  • If the patient is not breathing and you have been trained to do so, you may begin CPR and rescue breathing as necessary
  • If a person is bleeding heavily from a wound, take any available material (such as a T-shirt, gauze from the first aid kit, a towel or a blanket) and place it over the open, bleeding wound. Then press tightly, applying direct pressure to the wound. Maintain that pressure until the emergency services arrive. Do not stop pressing to check if there is continued bleeding or to look at the wound. This procedure may save a person’s life.

Related article:

Three injured in Fourways crash on Witkoppen and Cedar roads

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