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KH, Rest In Peace Brother
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For the most part, all of us ride, and a lot of us have been involved in a traffic collision of some type in the past. After reading a few threads about bike wrecks it came to me......does everyone know how to deal with a wreck? I figured I would put my experience and training out there to try and help others when they are involved in a traffic collision. It can be carried over to passenger cars as well.

Some background about your author so you know it is just not someone talking out of their rear end. I was a firefighter for 2 years with a specialty in vehicle extrication (cutting people out of very serious wrecks), 11 years as a medical first responder and 6 1/2 years as a law enforcement officer with extensive training and experience in vehicle collision investigation and reconstruction of collision scenes.


Some things I discuss are planning, equipment, reactions/what to do or not to do:

Planning:

Planning can take on many roles. A few things that can help you in case of an emergency are:

Try and determine the area you plan to ride in and get a list of all law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services and fire stations in the area. Write down the phone numbers for these locations.

Remember, dialing 911 from a cell phone doesn't always route you to the nearest people that can assist in the event of a traffic collision.

If it a planned group ride try and get a person in the group that some medical training and designate them as a medic in case of a collision. If you can't find a person that has some medical training many EMS locations offer basic first aide as a free class to anyone that wishes to learn it as well as CPR. If possible volunteer to take the class for your group of riders.

If it is a solo ride it might still be a good idea to learn basic first aide in case you have to perform it on yourself. As many people with medical training as possible on the ride the better off the group will be.

Let people not involved in the ride know your planned route (if it is planned) and an estimated time of when the ride will end.

If the ride changes in time or location call and let someone know as soon as possible so as not to cause any unnecessary worry or drama.

Make sure you and your equipment are in the best possible condition, this will greatly increase your chances of a better outcome.

Equipment:
These are bikes so we cannot carry a car trunk full of equipment. But you can distribute equipment over a few riders to make it easier.

Somewhere on your helmet place a sticker that reads (DO NOT REMOVE HELMET) several places make these stickers and hand them out free or for little charge.....pick up a couple for your friends too.

Cell phones are pretty much a must these days anyways and most riders have their's with them. Make sure it is charged up and ready to go.

A small flashlight will do wonders! They are small and can be tucked into bike trunks very easily and will be useful for light and signaling other motorists as well.

Small bottles of water can assist with heat fatigue, flushing injuries, putting out fires (or at least slowing them down).

Copies of your medical cards should be kept on every person as well as a form of identification and emergency contact information.

Small medical first aide kits will help a lot! If you do not have space for one some items I might suggest: a couple of small ACE warps (these can be used to make splints or wrap injuries), emergency blankets (these are small these days and can be carried in a jacket pocket <about the size of a folded handkerchief> they are reflective and will be asset to make a stretcher and keep people warm if they go into shock), gauze pads (used to cover injuries and wipe away blood....if you can get a military combat pack it will have a large gauze pad and an elastic band on it), roll of athletic tape (used to tape gauze pads, make splints, hold wounds closed). More can be added to this list as you see fit.

If you have a medical condition let others know! If you wear a medical bracelet or necklace make sure to wear it.

Pick at least two locations on your gear and place a piece of tape on it with your blood type and allergies!

A digital camera is also pretty handy as well to take pictures of the scene; it will speed up the process with the insurance companies and make it easier to reconstruct the scene if anything has to be moved.

Rubber/latex gloves (these will be used to keep from possibly contracting anything and getting debris into a wound.....if you don't have them with you....do what you feel you have to do).

Reactions on the scene:
First and foremost, whether you’re an injured rider or not is to get control of yourself!!! A calm brain is far better than one going in a hundred different directions.

If you are not involved in the collision get your bike out of the scene and off the roadway if possible...if not get it as far to the right as possible.

Let the "medic" focus on doing his job at hand. If you are the medic make a quick assessment of the injured and get the most critical person first and work your way to the least critical.

If the group is large enough send one person in each direction to stop traffic at least one hundred feet in each direction.

Once they get traffic stopped have them go vehicle to vehicle and ASK IF THEY ARE A DOCTOR, NURSE, PARAMEDIC, COP, FIREFIGHTER (all of these have training in medical aide and know how to help there the fastest).

If no one brought a cell phone or there is no signal, ask the people to call for medical assistance and police or if they can to a payphone and call for assistance.

Unless a person is under a bike leave the bikes where they lay!! This will help the police officer that will have to work the scene this is also true for other vehicles as well. Leave the downed rider in the position they are in and DO NOT MOVE THEM UNLESS IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!!!! If a person is impaled on an object....LEAVE THEM IMPALED!! (This might be the only thing keeping them alive and should only be done with the proper equipment).

If anyone complains of head, back, neck problems or tingling sensations MAKE them law down off the roadway.

Some things I will not be able to go into, as far medical aide goes due to state laws varying exclusions to the "good Samaritan clause", primarily keep their heads still by placing even pressure on both sides of their helmet (each place teaches different techniques on the use of a C Spine).

If you are a solo rider without a group try not to move but if you are in a blind spot try and get out of the roadway or into a clearer line of sight for other drivers to see you.

Try to keep injured riders talking. If they are talking they are breathing and if they are breathing they are alive!!

Take lots of photographs, especially if you have had to alter the scene.

Do not let gawkers into the accident area; if they are not helping they do not need to be there!!

If you are an injured rider do not try and be macho. Tell them you are injured.

When speaking to anyone DO NOT ADMIT FAULT OR LIE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED!!! The physical evidence will speak for itself. Do not talk to the press or reveal any names of injured riders until families can be notified, the last thing a loved one wants to see is their loved one stretched out on a roadway...hence the emergency contact numbers.. Give true statements to the police officers that are investigating it as well as the appropriate insurance companies. When you have had time to calm down a few hours later write the events down as to what happened, what you saw and what you did. As time passes these things get fuzzy in our minds so a good log will be beneficial later on.



A special thanks to Fargin_Bastige and tmkreutzer for all their assistance with the writing of this article!
 

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Most of us wear our gear in the event of a accident but few think about what may need to be done in the event that someone gets really hurt. Great article!

Just to add to locations that you can receive first aid/cpr training > American Red Cross.
 

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KH, Rest In Peace Brother
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Discussion Starter #8
:dblthumb thanks everyone! I am glad to be of some help.
 

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KH, Rest In Peace Brother
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20,852 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
bob12312357 said:
guess your not still 25 after reading of your combined years of expierence. lol

:lao Yeah a lot of them was doing a lot of cross training. Seems for the past several years I am always going through some type of training.
 

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Most people don't think about it, but if you have a nickel allergy make sure EVERYONE knows about it. Hives under your watch isn't bad, but a stainless implant in your already injured body is a very bad thing (and if you ever ride with me, I'm allergic to nickel so titanium only if I'm knocked out)
 

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That is a real good artical. You might want to explain why not to pull the helmet off, I think this will deter them from doing it. I am also a EMT-Intermediate and i never once thought of getting people that have experience in the medical field. thanks alot and i hope people read this and take it seriously
 
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