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How do you deal with a road accident?

By raccars Published

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It's an unfortunate inevitability that at some time during their motoring career, most drivers will find themselves at the scene of, if not a part of, an accident. If you do find yourself part of a pile up, how do you respond?

In reality few people are as prepared as they think they are to deal with seriously injured crash victims or even notify emergency services of important information. A new charitable organisation, called Driver First Assist (DFA), has organised training for drivers on how to handle roadside emergency situations. The scheme has the backing of the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Chief Fire Officers' Association, the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives and Great Britain's senior Traffic Commissioner.

The DFA runs a one day course focusing on crash scene management and how to stabilise the injured in the first minutes of a crash, until the emergency services can take over. Originally aimed at professional drivers, the DFA suggests that road traffic fatalities could be reduced by about 46% if all motorists were better versed in how to respond at the scene of an accident, including important first aid in the first crucial minutes. Its aim at this stage is to train 60,000 motorists to have a substantial impact upon reducing fatalities.

The course takes place over seven hours in a classroom setting and starts with how to convey accurate and timely information to the emergency services. This includes education on how to use motorway markers, which can be found every 100 metres along the roadside and Driver Location Boards, situated every 500 metres along the motorway, to alert the emergency services to the exact location of any incident, including carriageway direction.

Motorists are also trained in how to assess the scene of an accident in order to avoid potentially hazardous situations - other traffic, electrocution, chemicals, debris and fire. Another factor is how to position your own car to protect the scene rather than obstruct it, such as applying hazard lights, dipped headlights and parking straight rather than at an angle, as the police do, so that other motorists can see your tail lights. This comes with education on how to identify protected areas, meaning those shielded by your own car, dangerous areas - where other traffic can enter - and safer areas, such as pavements and behind barriers.

This is combined with first aid training, managing bystanders and identifying Hazardous Chemical warning signs.

It costs £95 to take part in the course, plus £25 annual membership fee to the scheme.

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