What to do when you come upon an accident

You out on a run, the weather could be better but you are taking it easy as the long right hand bend approaches. At the bend you see a double line of skid marks, a car at the side of the road and a bike on its side and the rider lying in the road.

What should you do?

The first priority in any emergency situation is to protect yourself.

Do not put yourself at risk.

Check for oncoming traffic and consider the speed they might approach at. Don’t go by the posted road speed limit; this is often disregarded.

As a guide – if the posted speed is 100kph multiply by 3 for the required safe distance to attend a scene = 300 meters.

An approximate safe distance from the scene may be judged by making a fist at full arms length, extend your thumb, (as for thumbs up sign).

If the crashed car is obscured by the thumb the distance may be safe.

A car travelling 100kph may take over 120 meters to come to a halt!

Put on a high visibility jacket if you do not routinely wear one when riding.

Park your bike at the side of the road with hazard lights going if fitted.

Observe the accident scene from a safe distance. How many vehicles are involved?

Flag down approaching vehicles without putting yourself at risk, and ask these drivers to take over the task of stopping oncoming traffic.

Advise these drivers to use ‘viz jackets’ and to keep safe.

If it is safe to approach the crash scene listen out for running engines – switch off ignitions and remove keys.

Do not attempt to remove people from the car or move the bike rider!

Under no circumstances attempt to remove the biker’s helmet – this requires special training – see www.bikerstraining.com

Ask all occupants to remain still and in the vehicle.

Note how many are talking/calling out in pain -  these are conscious.

Note how many are quiet – these may be unconscious.

Ask the bike rider to remain still.

Contact emergency services, remain calm. Answer the operator’s questions clearly and remain ‘on-line’ until the operator tells you to hang up.

This article was written by Mr Nick Coward from Bikers Training. www.bikerstraining.com