First Aid Following a Road Incident

First Aid after Road Traffic Accidents

Road Traffic Incidents are a common cause of injury in the UK. Whilst the overwhelming majority of incidents do not result in any significant harm, should you be involved in one or witness one there may be a need to put your first aid skills to use.

After the Event

First and foremost, the emergency services should be called to the scene of any incident which is suspected to have caused injury.

Once this is done and prior to any action occurring, it is important to make sure that the area is safe to enter and accessible before attempting to render aid. Directly after an incident is likely to be where emotions are running high, and if vehicles travelling at speed are involved a subsequent collision may occur. Check the following to ensure it is safe to proceed:

  • That all traffic or movement has stopped;
  • That the incident is clearly visible for oncoming or approaching vehicles;
  • That there are no hazards in the road which would impede your movement (i.e. broken glass or mirrors).

If it is not possible to secure the safety of anyone approaching the scene, then do not approach the scene until this is possible. Further injury can be avoided with care and attention.

At the Scene

Once you have safely approached the vehicles or injured person it may be necessary to carry out a modified primary survey as the vehicle may be inaccessible, the person trapped within, or incapable of moving.

Given the nature of road traffic incidents, a number of injuries could have occurred. Assess the situation carefully and be especially careful about moving any victim. Common advice is that you should only attempt to remove an unconscious person from their vehicle if there is an immediate danger to their life. Read the situation carefully.

Lesser cuts and injuries may be triaged at the scene with the appropriate equipment. For more information, you may want to refer to our videos on major bleeding incidents.

About The Author

Tom Durham

Tom has 10 years of experience as a first aid trainer / assessor and over 20 years experience of outdoor sports instruction and coaching internationally. Prior to becoming a founder of the First Aid Training Co-operative, Tom grew a successful business delivering predominantly outdoor / remote first aid courses across Scotland, using his experience to help others in the outdoor industry improve their skills. Tom is a graduate of the Rural Leadership Programme and also runs a mountain bike trail design consultancy. He continues to work internationally, dividing his time between Scotland and the Italian Alps.