What to Do If You Come Upon a Motorcycle Accident

There may come a time when you and the passengers of your vehicle bare witness to a motorcycle accident.  Should such an incident take place, you need to know the proper steps to take to ensure safety.  The following tips, when combined with quick thinking and a calm demeanor, could mean the difference between life and death.

Secure the Scene

You will be doing the accident victim a huge favor by simply having someone in the area block traffic a reasonable distance away from the scene of the crash.  In addition, make sure that the victim is safe from fires, fuel leaks, live electrical wires, and other hazards.  Fires should be extinguished if possible, and everyone in the area should be aware of oil spills that might have taken place.

Dial 911

With the scene secure, it’s time to call the authorities.  Every minute emergency responders don’t get to an accident, the less likely it is that the victim will survive the wreck.  Use a cell phone if someone in the area has one, and if not, send a female to nearby residence to dial 911.  A female will be far less intimidating to strangers, who might otherwise bar the door if they feel threatened.

Taking Care of the Victim

It’s imperative that you and those around you evaluate the persons involved in the crash.  The three main things to check for are a pulse, breathing, and an excess amount of blood emanating from a wound.  These bloodied areas should have pressure applied to mitigate the loss of blood, while all the while you communicate to the injured party the steps you’re taking.

The only time a motorcyclist’s helmet should be removed is if he or she is not breathing.    If this occurs, then one person should keep the head steady by grabbing the chin with one hand and supporting the head at the base of the neck with the other.  Pull the helmet straight back without moving the person’s head, then administer CPR or rescue breathing if need be.

All motorcycle crash victims should be treated as if they’ve incurred a spinal injury.  Make sure their head is given proper support and they remain immobile.  Check back every five minutes, and make sure the victim is covered with a blanket.

Questions to Ask

If the rider is conscious, then you should get as much information as possible in able to better assist rescue personnel.  Write down their responses if you can.  The information you’re looking for is:

  • Full name
  • An emergency contact with a phone number
  • Age
  • Birth date
  • Doctor’s information
  • Allergies
  • Prescriptions currently being used
  • Medical conditions
  • If drugs or alcohol are in their system
  • A brief description of the accident

All the while, another person can be gathering license plate numbers, obtaining witness contact information, and drawing the scene of the accident.

Five Minute Checks

From here, you can begin to administer five minute checks while waiting for emergency personnel.  Potential brain trauma can be identified by asking these questions during the checks:

  •  What is your name?
  •  Where are you?
  •  What’s the date and time of day?

If they fail to answer appropriately, it could be the sign of a serious problem.

You should also be checking breathing and pulse every five minutes.  The latter can be identified via the person’s wrist or either side of their windpipe.  Continue to check even if the individual loses consciousness.  This way, you’re prepared to give rescue personnel a full rundown of the patient’s ongoing condition leading up to when rescuers arrived.

Encourage everyone to keep their heads about them, don’t speak excessively, and provide relevant information only to emergency responders and law enforcement personnel.  If you follow these instructions while staying calm, you can set a sterling example for others in the vicinity and potentially save lives as well.

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