Motorcycle Accidents | 5 Things You Can Do To Help
5 Things You Can Do To Help in a Motorbike Crash
Reading time: 3 mins
As a motorcycle rider, you would know that there is risk every time you get on your bike. Whether you’re involved in a crash with another vehicle (at fault or not) or your motorbike accidentally skids in the rain and crashes, motorcycle riders are exposed to danger more than any other vehicle on the road.
Although you may actively try to avoid such mishaps, accidents are just that - an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly. No matter how careful you are, the fact remains that motorcycle riders are vulnerable to serious injuries when on the road.
When a motorcycle accident happens, what makes the difference between life and death for the rider is how you, as a witness, react to the situation. If you’re the one involved in an accident, hopefully, there are other riders or road users that can help you through some of these important steps. But, if one of your biking buddies is the victim or if you happen to witness a motorbike crash, then follow these 5 steps and help save a life!
Step #1: Secure the Victim & the Motorcycle
First things first - safety! If the crash happens on a busy expressway, find a way to warn, slow down or redirect oncoming traffic and get to the victim. Check if the rider is conscious and secure. Do not move the victim unless he/she is in a life threatening situation. Your main aim is to ensure that both you and the victim are out of danger’s way from other vehicles and road debris.
Once the victim is safe, quickly check the crashed motorcycle as well, to ensure that the engine is switched off and no fluid is leaking onto the road. If necessary, move the vehicle to a safer spot on the road shoulder. However, if it’s not obstructing traffic, then it’s best to leave it as it is until the traffic police arrives to check the scene as well.
Step #2: Assess The Situation
Next, assess the situation of the victim and the crash site, so you can report it accurately to the medical team and the victim’s motorcycle insurance company as the main witness. Check for injuries, but do not remove the rider’s helmet. You should also avoid moving the victim, in case there are serious injuries sustained, like broken bones or internal bleeding.
However, you can open the rider’s helmet visor for airflow, so that the rider can breathe better. You can ask other bystanders to help you cordon off the area where the victim is lying, so there’s enough open space and comfort too.
It always pays to be prepared with a simple first aid kit to help clean and tend to simple wounds. However, if there’s excessive bleeding, put pressure on the area to stop the blood flow till professional help arrives.
Step #3: Keep the Victim Calm
Then, talk to the victim in a calm tone and explain what had just happened. The victim is most likely to still be in shock and confused about the situation. Gently assure the rider that help is on its way and ask for the victim’s name, address, and emergency contact number, so you can help inform the paramedics for more timely coordination.
Step #4: Call for Professional Help
After you are sure that the victim is comfortable and alert, call the medical experts and report the incident to the local police. You should ask someone to help you make the call if you can’t do it yourself. Be ready to report the location of the victim, and also, give your name to the operator for reference.
Make sure you don’t turn off your phone in case the emergency team needs further information on your whereabouts and the present condition of the victim.
Step #5: Document the Scene of the Accident
Once the victim is calm, ask for assistance from other witnesses to take photos of the accident site for documentation purposes. This will help the victim with their motorcycle insurance claim and No Claims Discount (NCD) if eligible.
Besides recording information of the scene, getting the contact information of other witnesses will also be very helpful to the victim when submitting their motorcycle insurance claim. Not everyone may want to be a witness but ask around if anyone is willing to wait for the authorities to give their official statements.
Be A Thoughtful Rider and Help Save A Life
Road safety rules should be practised at all times to avoid accidents and serious injuries. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you can be of help to a fellow rider, you should have some basic knowledge of what to do.
Of course, there are also things you should NOT do:
- Do not move the injured victim if they complain of spinal or neck pain. Remember, the less movement, the better. You should only move the victim if you need to remove them from immediate danger.
- Do not act frantically. Though you may be in a slight state of shock yourself, stay calm when helping the victim. If you start yelling, the injured rider would also start to panic and this could worsen the situation.
- Do not assume others know what to do. If someone is screaming, firmly and politely ask them to move away from the victim. If someone is ready to help you but doesn’t know what to do, assign them something from the list above. You could say something along the lines of: “Hi, could you please direct traffic away from us?” or “Please call 995 and tell them where we are and that there’s someone injured due to a motorcycle accident” or “Hey, could you help move the people crowding around us back a little?”
Not many riders and motorists may be fully aware of what to do if they witness a motorcycle accident. This is why we have highlighted these 5 steps as a guide to help other motorcyclists in need.
Have you ever helped out at a scene of a motorcycle accident? What did you do? Share your story with us in the comments section below!