A total of 4,80,652 people have been injured in road accidents in 2016 out of which 1,50,785 precious lives have been lost as per the latest MORTH (Ministry of Road Transport and Highways) data. However, many of these lives could have been saved if they had received timely intervention. But due to the apathy of people many simply pass by without helping. Some attribute this to their hesitation and fear of having to deal with concerned authorities namely the police while others are simply reluctant.
So, this year, on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR), on 19th November, let’s promise ourselves to be responsible citizens and help road accident victims.
The theme of this year’s event is “2020 Target: Reduce Road Fatalities and Serious Injuries by 50%” and one of the ways in which it can be done is by helping road accident victims. Given the focus on the 2020 target, this year’s commemoration also provides an opportunity to highlight India’s commitment to meet the Sustainable Development Goal target 3.6, which calls for a halving of road traffic deaths and injuries.
Here are a few important things that you can do as a responsible citizen to save a precious life before the arrival of the ambulance:
1. Remain Calm – Do not panic. It is important for you and the victim to remain calm as it will help you take rational decisions. Do not allow any person at the scene, be it the victim or bystander to panic.
2. Assess the Accident Spot - Move closer to the accident area, to understand if the accident involves only a single person or there are more. Be careful and check for leaking CNG and petrol pipes, live wires or broken glass.
3. Call the Emergency Services – Dial 102 for ambulance and 100 for police. Give the exact location of the accident, so that they do not waste time in reaching the accident spot.
4. Stop Cars and Ask For Help – If there aren’t too many people on the road, try and stop other cars or bikes for help. Request other bystanders to help you.
5. Call Family and Friends – Check the last dialed number from the victim’s mobile or check for frequently called numbers or names like Mom, Dad, Hubby, Wife etc.
6. Provide First Aid - If you know or are trained to give CPR (Chest pressure for heart rate / Mouth to Mouth Oxygen transfer) do it if the victim is unconscious. If it involved a car accident, search for a first aid kit inside car or take help from the bystanders.
7. Check for Pulse – Try and assess the condition of the victim. If the victim is unconscious and not responding, then you might have to immediately take the victim to the nearest hospital without waiting for the ambulance. Remember to take care of the neck and head portion. Lesser movements and road jerks will help if you have given a little head and neck support to the victim’s body. However, avoid moving the victim, unless absolutely necessary or you are trained in it as you might be hurting the victim and causing further damage.
8. Help Keep the Traffic Moving – Make space for ambulance to come, so keep the traffic moving. Some curious people simply slow down their vehicles to check out an accident. Just let them know it is nothing serious. You should also warn the oncoming traffic and let drivers know that there is an accident and they need to avoid the area.
9. Comfort the Victim – The accident victim is scared and even hurt. Talk to the victim if he or she is conscious with comforting and encouraging words like ‘ambulance is on the way’ and ‘nothing serious has happened.’
10. Accompany the Victim – Do accompany the victim to the hospital till the arrival of the family members and provide all the support to the police to help them register a case.
So on this World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, let’s take a pledge to help others today as tomorrow it might be you!