After a traffic accident
The most important courses of action for when you encounter a traffic accident:
- take the fire extinguisher (if possible, it should be within easy reach), as there is a risk of the vehicle igniting;
- if the vehicle has caught on fire, try to get the victim out without endangering your life;
- check the state of the people involved in the accident (talk to them – see whether they respond, check their breathing and pulse, check external injuries, find out if they are hurting somewhere);
- if there is a cervical extrication collar available and you know how to put it on, use it;
- communicate with the victim(s) by checking if they are conscious;
- stop the bleeding;
- revive if necessary.
Helping other road users
A person who happens to witness a traffic accident has inadvertently assumed a high level of responsibility. Everyone has the responsibility to help the victims, but everyone has a different level of preparedness. There are not many of those who can provide the necessary first aid, but everyone can, at least to some extent, cope with calling for help.
If a traffic accident has occurred or is happening right in front of your eyes, it is first advisable to go and talk to the occupant(s) of the vehicle. Try to contact the victim by addressing them. This way, it is possible to make it clear whether someone is injured and whether the people involved are conscious. If the people in the vehicle are communicative, it makes sense to ask them if everybody is okay and whether you should call an ambulance. If no one has a significant injury, it is up to the people involved in the accident to decide whether they want to call the police to the scene or not. But if it seems to you that the driver of the vehicle may have consumed alcohol, then it is imperative to call the police. If it turns out that someone is injured, the Emergency Response Centre should be immediately notified by calling the emergency number 112.
If there are injured people in the vehicle, the risk of a fire should be eliminated before providing assistance. In order to avoid the ignition of the vehicle that was involved in the accident, if possible, remove the minus wire from the battery of the vehicle. This is often difficult because the front of the vehicle is crushed. Try to avoid any possibility of the emergence of a spark. If the vehicle has ignited, use a fire extinguisher to extinguish it. It must be available on all vehicles. Nowadays, there are mainly 2 kg powder extinguishers in vehicles. In case of danger of fire or ignition, take the fire extinguisher immediately.
Fires in vehicles usually start from the engine compartment. The most effective way to extinguish the fire is to direct the jet to it and then close the bonnet so that the burning would not be able to regain momentum.
If you yourself are on the scene without a car (alone) and there is no extinguisher available, then start dealing with the victims right away.
It is often not possible to do much on the scene of an accident, so it is extremely important that the small amount of what can be done is done correctly.