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First Aid for Car Crash Victims

With winter coming, dark nights and wet, slippery roads mean greater risk of car crashes. In fact, road safety authorities report that the risk of a car crash in winter increases by 20%.

What should you do, if you come across a car crash?

The very first thing of course, is to always call 000, even if it appears the people involved “seem OK”. People can suffer from shock, internal injuries, whiplash and other injuries that can affect them later and it’s best to have them checked by paramedics first.

On approach to the crash scene try to make it safe. If you can, park your car in such a way to protect the scene and put your hazard lights on. If you have warning triangles set up them.

Check to see if there are any fallen powerlines or if the vehicle has struck any electrical installations BEFORE touching the car or any occupants.

Other hazards to look out for are:

· Leaking Fuel, Oil or other vehicle fluids

· Undeployed Airbags (these can suddenly go off, after an accident)

· Hazardous Materials (is the vehicle carrying any?)

· Passing Traffic & Bystanders

· Aggressive other participants in the crash

If it is safe to approach the vehicle, do so. If the engine is still running immediately switch off the ignition and place the keys on the floor of the vehicle. If the vehicle is in danger of rolling, apply the parking brake.

Calm the patient and reassure them help is on the way. Do not remove them from the vehicle unless they are in immediate danger (car fire for example).

Immediately address any injuries you can see. Put pressure or bandages on bleeding injuries.

Check and clear their airways to ensure they can breathe. Position their head upright to minimise neck injuries.

If unconscious but still breathing, leave them in the vehicle and monitor them closely. If they are unconscious AND not breathing, remove them from the vehicle and immediately apply CPR. If they go into cardiac arrest and there is an AED (Defibrillator) available use it.

Continue first aid until the ambulance arrives.

If you don’t know how to do CPR or want first aid training, you can get trained with Results First Aid. Book now at


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