After Accident Tips That Could Help Save Lives
After Accident Tips That Could Help Save Lives

If you see a collision and want to help:
The best thing to do is drive past the wreck before signaling and pulling off of the road. This way, you will not be blocking the view of the collision for oncoming traffic and will give an opportunity for emergency crew room to work. It is very important that you also turn your hazard lights on so you are easily visible. Turn off the ignition of your vehicle. After you get out from your car, make sure that it is safe to approach the scene of the accident by checking if there is gasoline spilled or downed power lines, before getting too close. If it is safe to approach, turn off the ignitions of all vehicles to reduce the risk of fire but do not move an injured driver to get to his keys.

Now please call for help. Make sure to stay on the line until the emergency dispatcher hangs up. If you need to provide first aid, assign the call to someone else. Check for injuries. Are victims awake and responsive" If yes, encourage them not to move. If they do not respond, verify that they are breathing. First attend to those with severe bleeding. Please remember never to move a victim unless there is a life-threatening danger such as fire or leaking fuel.

First Step in treating the injured:
Before providing first aid, check to see if victims are awake responsive. Use your best judgment to figure out which victim needs more immediate help. Ask questions such as "What hurts" and "Can you wiggle your fingers or toes"

If the victim is not breathing:
If the victim is completely non-responsive, make sure that he/she is breathing. Is the chest rising and falling" Can you feel breathing" If the answer is no, gently move victim's head into its normal (eyes front) position and lower the jaw. Listen for gurgling or gagging. Both are signs of a blocked airway. In this case, try to clear the mouth of any obstructions. If the victim is still not breathing, begin artificial respiration. Pinch the victim's nose shut. Open your mouth wide, take a deep breath, and put your mouth tightly over the victim's. Blow a full breath, then watch for the victim's chest to rise and fall.
If it doesn't help, blow one full breath every five seconds. This should be done for at least a minute.

In case of severe bleeding:
Press firmly against any wounds with some sort of bandage, ideally a thick pad or clean cloth. It should absorb the blood and allow it to clot. If blood soaks through the dressing, don't remove it. That could open the wound further and make bleeding worse. Instead, add more layers of cloth on top and apply more pressure. It is not a good idea to use your belt as a tourniquet. That might completely cut off the flow of blood, and could potentially lead to the loss of the limb.

If you have to move someone:
Remember that you should only move a victim if there is an immediate danger such as fire. If you must move a victim, gently align victim's neck and spine. If you are alone, carefully drag the victim backward by the clothes or armpits. If there is help available, have one person support the head from underneath, keeping it in line with the spine. The others can then lift the body from the sides, to provide an even support.

If crash victim is in shock:
Shock occurs when a victim's circulatory system doesn't provide enough blood to the body and brain. Please note that the person doesn't have to appear injured to suffer from shock. In fact, shock victims often walk, talk and at first, seem merely "shaken up." Shock can kill, so know how to recognize it. Tell-tale signs include pale, moist, clammy skin; dilated pupils; a weak and rapid pulse; shivering; thirst; nausea and vomiting; shallow breathing; weakness; a vacant expression and a detached attitude. If you notice these signs and suspect that a victim is in shock, have him/her lie down and raise the feet slightly. It's generally best to place blankets and coats under and around the person to conserve heat. Then begin any additional first aid, talking to the victim as you work. Please be kind and understanding, as it goes a long way toward treating shock.

First aid kit:
It is always a good idea to carry one in your car. A good first aid kit should include: bandages, adhesive tape, scissors, blankets, latex gloves, a mouth barrier, flashlights, flares and reflectors. Gauze pads, gauze rolls, safety pins and alcohol swabs are excellent additions.