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Things to do when a fellow motorcyclist has had an accident

On most days when we get on our motorcycles, we are oblivious to things that could wrong for us or our fellow riders. Professional Dakar rally riders spend a large part of their training time learning first aid response techniques should a fellow rider require the same. This is done in spite of a mindset which prohibits them from thinking about getting in an accident.  As motorcycle enthusiasts, we are no different and ride in groups known to us or with people we share a common interest with. Riding in a group makes us watch out for each other in case of mishaps. This brings to the fore an important discussion, as motorcyclists how do we respond when a fellow rider meets with an accident? Read on to see how some first response steps that can a long way in saving a life:

1. Park/Stop in a safe area
You can only help your fellow motorcyclists if you are safe in the first place. So step one is to always find a safe spot to park your motorcycle before rushing to aid the fallen rider. You should also consider a stop where you are not blocking the normal flow of traffic in any shape or form. It might seem a simple and logical thing but during a panic situation, simple is never as simple.

2. Carefully move the injured
Never move the injured rider unless he’s in a dangerous place. Utmost precautions must be taken before helping him/her move. At no cost, the victim must not be allowed to make any sudden movements or make an attempt to get up and stand on his feet at once. In case of severe concussions, any sudden moves can lead to further complications.

3. Do not remove the helmet
A very high percentage of motorcycle accidents result in neck and spine injury. Removing the victim’s helmet without proper precaution or right training to do so could be fatal for the victim. The only reason to take the victim’s helmet out would be if the victim cannot breathe properly due to the helmet.

4. Call emergency services
In most of the cases, you are better off calling the emergency services right away. It also helps if you tend to the victim first before calling in an emergency as it can help you can explain the victim’s condition to the emergency personnel. The emergency services would differ in different countries also in different parts of the same country in some cases. So always plan ahead and keep the details handy before riding out in unknown territories.

5. Communicate and make the victim feel comfortable
Until help arrives it is very important to keep the injured rider calm and make sure they aren’t panicking. In most instances, the emergency services will take a considerable amount of time to reach the accident spot and you keeping the injured rider calm could go a long way in saving his/her life.  In severe injury cases like the spin injuries, this could prove vital as the victim would tend to make sudden movements if they panic and which could turn to be fatal.

6. Make the accident scene safe
This is more to reduce chaos around the accident scene. It includes moderating traffic around the accident site and reducing chaos around the victim and the scene. It also, in turn, will help emergency services reach the spot quicker.

Quicky thinking, presence of mind, and awareness are vital on the motorcycle and off it too. As motorcyclists, some skills are ingrained in our DNA, and spending some time learning basic first aid can help salvage an unwarranted situation and save a life. Be sure to ride responsibly and with protective gear at all times.

By Pratik Patil

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