car accident

Time and again, car accidents occur on various routes in Australia. However, often (not always) the first people on that scene could probably do a little more to help like assess the situation and take some specific actions. Yes, witnessing a car accident first hand can be traumatizing, but you have unlimited potential to save lives, especially if you are first on the scene. However, saving lives while still ensuring your safety requires tact, and here is a guide that will help you in case you encounter such a situation.

What to do if you are first on scene?

  • Signal the accident
  • Call for help
  • Offer help to the casualties
  • Handle the vehicle

First Aid:

If you are first aid trained these skills will be very valuable. Use the following acronym to assess the scene and casualty:

D – Assess for dangers

R – Is there any response from the casualty

S – Send for help (Triple Zero – “000”)

A – Check Airway

B – Check Breathing

C – Circulation

D – Defibrillator

CPR and Basic First Aid


rescue workers at a car accidentUse the other skill you may have acquired during a first aid course. If you have never done a first aid course provide a safety assessment to your self and the patient. Reassure the patient with in your personal abilities. The most important thing you may do is sending for help.

Approach prudently – don’t put yourself in danger

When approaching the crime scene, it’s vital to keep a safe distance from the crash to ensure your safety. If you had been driving, ensure that you park your car at least one hundred meters from the scene of the accident. By so doing, you can be able to assess the situation as well as ensure you are out of harm’s way. This will also pave the way for emergency vehicles trying to access the scene to save lives. It’s also essential that you look out for scattered glasses, leaked fuel, and flames since these hazards pose a considerable risk to your safety.

Signal the accident

Remember, it’s almost evident that by now nobody knows that an accident has occurred and therefore it’s essential to signal the oncoming cars of the danger ahead. You can do so by putting on your hazard car lights on or even set out traffic triangles. It’s essential to make sure that you have traffic triangles on your emergency kit at all times to cater for such situations. This will go a long way in alerting other people that help is needed at the scene.

Call for help

The aftermath of an accident is challenging to handle alone. The outcome is by far better if it’s done by several persons working together. Calling 000 is the best way to handle the situation. You will, however, be required to give a few details about the accident. They can ask you for the location of the accident scene, the number of people involved in the accident, how severe the casualty’s injuries are, and other relevant questions that would be of help. You can also request other drivers and pedestrians to assist you if possible. When the people involved in the saving life act are many, they will be able to share responsibilities. For instance, one can halt traffic, another concentrate on giving first aid while the other calls emergency services. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to stay at the crime scene until the conditions of all casualties are accessed, and first aid is given to them.

Offer help to the casualties

Before engaging in the saving lives process, it’s essential first to check the safety of the scene. If it’s safe, proceed to save lives, but if not, wait for professionals to do the work to avoid injuring yourself in the process. First, you should check whether a victim is responsive by speaking to them clearly and loudly. If there is no response, then you can slightly pinch their earlobe or shake the casualty’s shoulder to initiate one. In case there is still no response, proceed to help them in clearing their airway. Check whether the victim is breathing normally and if yes, stay with him till help arrives. You can check a casualties breathing rate by listening to their mouth or chest, watching for any raising and falling of the chest as well as placing your cheek just next to the casualty’s mouth to feel any breaths. If no inspirations, you can also apply chest compression and rescue breaths to keep the victim alive.

You should also check the casualty’s circulation, and if there is excessive bleeding, put pressure on the bleeding area using a cloth or your finger to stop the bleeding. If a casualty’s limb is bleeding, first raise it slightly beyond the heart level to decrease blood flow.

First on the scene of a car accident

First Aid Training can help substantially

 During this process, do not move any casualties if there is no immediate danger since this can cause more injuries. Do not also attempt to give any treatment to any victim if you are not professionally trained for the job. Giving casualties anything to eat or drink is also prohibited since this can pose serious complications for medics, thereby causing a delay in the treatment process. Your main area of concern is ensuring that all casualties are calm and out of any danger until the professionals arrive. It’s also essential to give hope to the victims that help is on the way and give them as many positive encouragements as possible. Remember, these casualties are in deep pain, and they are scared as well, so being with them every step of the way and giving them hope that everything will be okay can really help in keeping them alive.

If the victims of the accident are responsive, it’s essential to get some information before the rescuer team arrives. It is vital to do so since the casualties can fall unconscious or even pass on before the emergency team comes, making it difficult to carry out investigations. You aren’t sure when an accident will occur and what role you’ll have to play to rescue a person’s life. Getting some first aid training is essential for everyone to help us save lives when the need arises since every life matters.

Handle the vehicle

After ensuring that all the victims are okay, it’s now time to put the cars involved in the park and ensure that the ignition is put off. Remember, only do this when you are sure it’s safe. Do not put your safety at risk!

If you are first at a car accident scene, the best course of action will majorly depend on the circumstances of the accident. It’s essential to keep your safety first at all times and only proceed when you are sure that you are not putting your life at risk. After an accident has occurred, especially if it’s a fatal one, there might be flames or combustibles. That’s why it’s essential to keep a safe distance and access the situation first. After you’ve ensured everything is safe, you can go on and offer your help.

By Ken Walker

Hi, I'm Ken. I am the owner and senior director of Syncretic training Group Pty Ltd. If you have any questions about the website content or require guidance please let us know we are always happy to help.

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