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Had an accident - What to do 2015-09-30

Had an accident - What to do

  1. cjvfr
    A regular occurrence, unfortunately is riders having an accident or off. I thought I would start a thread for definitive information on what to do and the common tasks. Jump in if you have information but preferably direct information not hearsay.

    Scene of Accident

    See to your own safety first!
    Do not admit liability, say that is a matter for the insurance companies concerned.

    If you are with a group it is a natural tendency for other riders in the group to stop and clump around the accident scene. This blocks access to general traffic, puts the helpers at greater risk and may restrict access to the scene by emergency services, You should avoid this. There will generally be a Scene Manager, usually this role falls to the senior rider present or the TEC if in a formal group.

    They will direct other riders in the group to continue on to a clear regrouping point if not needed. They should dispatch riders up from the accident in the direction of approaching traffic to direct oncoming traffic to slow. If the road is narrow then a person should be sent in the other direction for the same purpose.

    If you are uninjured move to a safe location. Assess yourself to make sure adrenalin is not hiding any injuries. Then see to the bike. If you are injured and it is a debilitating injury the situation is probably out of your hands. If you are on your own then try and call for help by phone if you are within Cell range. If you are out riding with mates or in a built up area then help is probably at hand.

    The Police must be called if there is damage to a vehicle or property and the owner is not present.

    Legislation covering Requirements of parties involved.

    (VIC) http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/rsa1986125/s61.html
    (NSW) http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/rr2008104/s287.html

    Assuming you are mobile or have minor injuries.

    Single Bike Incident

    If no other vehicles are involved and if you are uninjured stand the bike up and move it to a safe position. Assess the bike for damage and ride worthiness. Assess the surrounding road for any conditions that may have led to the incident. Take photos of any road conditions etc that may have contributed. This is important in NSW you may get hit with a Negligent Driving Notice and need to defend your case.

    If there are witnesses ask them if they will be a witness and get their contact details.
    Take note of location, nearest cross street, date and time of day.

    Multiple Vehicle Incident

    If you are uninjured move the bike to a safe position.

    There is an attached PDF document below which provides Wallet sized sheets for the information you should capture. Print this out double sided and keep a few in your wallet. Hopefully you won't need them.
    1. Check the injury status of all parties and assist where you can. If necessary call for an ambulance.
    2. If possible have people move their vehicles to a safe location that does not impede traffic.
    3. Take the following information from each person involved.
      1. Name
      2. License Number
      3. Contact Details
      4. Vehicle License Plate number
      5. Vehicle Make, Model and colour.
      6. Insurer - Note there is no legal obligation for them to provide this.
      7. Photograph the damage done to their vehicle if you can.
    4. Provide your information to each party.
    5. Check for witnesses
      1. Ask them what they have seen.
      2. Ask nicely if they would be a witness for you.
      3. Obtain their name and contact details.
    6. Take photos of any road conditions, signage etc that may have contributed to the accident.
    7. Take note of location, nearest cross street, date and time of day.
    8. Assess the bike for ride worthiness.
    If the bike is ridable and you are ok to ride go on your not so merry way. Otherwise arrange a pickup.

    After the Accident

    It is important to get a medical assessment. Particularly if you have had a hard fall. Some conditions from an accident can surface hours or days later. Some can be life threatening So go and see your MD and get cleared.

    There Has Been an Injury.

    It is impossible to do a full discussion of injury situations here. All I can do is discuss some common issues. If you want more I can recommend Accident Scene Management Australia who run courses covering First Aid and Accident scene management specifically aimed at motorcycle riders. A few riders here have completed these courses. If you are a medical pro please speak up if I have made any errors.

    Removal of Helmets

    The general rule is DONT, However often, conscious riders will start to feel claustrophobic and want to remove their helmet. If the off has been minor then try and maintain their head and neck in the line it ended up and let the rider remove it.

    If unconscious, crack the visor open but do not remove the helmet except if there is Vomiting or obstruction to the airways.

    If you do need to remove the helmet, this is generally a two or three person job. Make sure you have undone the chin strap before you start. Riders seem to get upset if you rip their head off. ;) The goal is to maintain the head and neck in the line that it has ended up and not to twist or move them with respect to each other.
    1. Roll up a jacket to act as a pillow once the helmet is off, you don't want to allow the head to drop back once the support of the helmet is removed.
    2. One person support the persons head with the palms of the hands up inside the helmet against the cheeks and temples around towards the rear of the riders head.
    3. If you have a third person they should support the back of the head as the helmet is removed.
    4. The second person tilts the helmet forward and slides it off
    5. Place the rolled up jacket under the head once the helmet is removed the head is supported. Note peoples heads are heavier than you would expect, be prepared for the weight you will have to support.
    Keep the neck and head as still as possible as you do this. Some modern helmets have removable cheekpads which make the job easier.

    There Has Been an Injury 2

    I have been injured

    On the assumption that you are conscious, Don't jump straight up until you have assessed your well being. You may have sustained fractures, grazes or more serious injuries. If you are on your own, gently wiggle your toes and fingers. No blurriness of vision etc. Situp into a position as comfortable as possible. If you have any heavy bleeding apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Once you have done your assessment if you appear to be Ok get up.

    If you are with other people or there are other members of the public involved they will probably come to your assistance. They probably will try and prevent you getting up, let them have their way for the moment even if you are uninjured. They are excitable as well so its good to let everybody calm down. Then if you are OK and have done the self assessment above then get up.

    In both cases if you have taken a heavy slide and your speed was in excess of 50km or if you have ongoing symptoms you should see your Doctor and get assessed. Some injuries can be sleepers that will surface later and may be life threatening.

    If after your self assessment you realise your injuries are more severe you will need to call for help or rely on passers by to do it for you.

    There Has Been an Injury 3

    Someone else in the group has been injured.

    First rule is that people are relying on you, you need to step up. Deep breath and start

    General teaching is the Acronym DRSABCD

    D - Danger, assess the situation is there danger for you or the patient? If so try and reduce the danger. Appoint traffic marshals to slow approaching traffic.
    R - Response, Check for response from the patient, squeeze shoulder, talk to them in a strong voice.
    S - Send for help, Dial 000 be prepared to give details of the location and patient condition. Note if the rider has come down at speeds at or exceeding 80km/h make a point of that with the Emergency operator. Allocation of ambulances and response will be more urgent if the accident has been at those speeds so do not varnish the truth. If there are more than one person there then someone to speak to the operator should be appointed and the other assist the patient.
    A - Airway Clear any obstructions from the mouth. If necessary move the patient to the recovery position.There is always danger if you suspect a spinal injury but greater danger if the patient can't breath and chokes. Use multiple people and gently roll the person on to their side maintaining their spine and neck in alignment. Provide a rolled up jacket as a pillow so their head maintains its height.
    B - Breathing, Are they breathing regularly. Check breathing by listening close to the persons face or by placing a hand on their chest. If not breathing then start CPR
    C - CPR, 30 chest compressions a minute, 2 breaths. If you are squeamish about Mouth to Mouth then do the Chest compression alone.
    D- Defibrillation - Not really applicable to riding as you are unlikely to have a Defibrillator with you. Many public places etc have them now days however. They are simple to use, and fully automatic. They will prompt you with voice prompts. Follow the voice instructions and you can't go wrong.
    TomAnderson likes this.
  1. #2 Mcsenna, Aug 7, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
    That's good Chris, from a lay man's viewpoint anyway.

  2. @cjvfr@cjvfr Very clear and concise information! My girlfriend was recently involved accident and neither of us were sure of what exactly to do. I have had my full licence for 10 years and never once had an accident. Was just saying things like this should be taught in school or as part of licence education.

    Great Post!
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Don't forget to mention traffic management and the tendency for other riders to put themselves in danger by gathering around in a useless group.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. #5 cjvfr, Aug 7, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
    Good point Greydog, I will expand the Initial Post when I get some free time.

    ETA: @Greydog@Greydog Added some paragraphs about clumping around an accident and traffic management. Let me know what you think. Also added PDF document that has printable Accident cards to capture the information you need should an insurance or legal claim occur.

    ETA2: Also I would welcome your feedback on the Injury sections.
  5. Looks ok. I'd mention that breathing should be checked by placing a hand on the chest and your ear close to the mouth. Watch the chest and feel and listen for breathing.

    Also, ANY CPR is better than none. Don't be afraid of getting it wrong. If the injured person needs CPR, doing nothing is going to be worse that trying. Sing Baa Baa Black Sheep and do the two breaths at the end. I've timed it and it seems about right. Going to the end gives one additional compression, but that isn't critical. Make sure the nose is sealed by pinching it closed. Watch the chest rise. Only needs to rise a little to be working...you're not blowing up a balloon, don't overdo it.

    I can't remember how many cycles you do before checking for breathing again.

    Disregard pulse. Too many people don't test properly, and end up diagnosing their own. Lack of breathing is the key indicator of the necessity for CPR.

    Also ensure your traffic managers go a sufficient way up the road, don't stay too close. Further than what you'd think. ETA: don't forget to go get them once the scene is cleared and you're ready to go.

    Don't wait for TEC to arrive. He/she might be a long way back.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. ......and now everyone is singing Baa Baa Black Sheep in your heads...aren't you???


    But seriously, it seems to work for me.
  7. When managing traffic at the accident scene do not underestimate how far up the road you need to slow vehicles down. We are talking hundreds of meters not 50 metres. If the accident has occurred on a bend (not uncommon for someone to run wide) position yourself well around the bend.

    If your bike has hazard lights use them park somewhere conspicuous up the road and use them.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. If the injured person is breathing/heart beating, ie alive, don't remove his helmet (possible neck injuries etc). If he is not breathing/heart beating, ie dead, it may be better to remove the helmet to give him m to m/cpr.
    Some may disagree with this.
  9. There's no "may" about it. If not breathing OR not breathing well, you'll need to remove the helmet. :)

    If breathing ok, yes, leave it on.

    When I had my off a few months ago, travelling from our new work building (meeting) back to the old one, I was knocked out, but breathing ok. People were all ready to take the helmet off, but thankfully, a motorcycle savvy work colleague stopped them.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. This is great, @cjvfr@cjvfr , thanks for posting!

    Re removing the helmet... If the person's life is in more danger from not removing it than the possible injury caused by removing it, then take the bloody thing off. Don't let someone asphyxiate to death because you're scared they might become a quadriplegic.

    It can be done safely. Here's a good video showing how to do it:

    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Prior to 2002, no good samaritan laws found in Australia. Most states and territories have since enacted legislation to encourage you to provide medical assistance to someone in need by ensuring you are not held liable for your actions provided you act in good faith.

    Qld: N/A
    NSW: Civil Liability Act 2002, s 57 — Protection of good samaritans
    ACT: Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002, s 5 — Protection of good samaritans from liability
    Vic: Wrongs Act 1958, s 31B — Protection of good samaritans
    Tas: Civil Liability Act 2002, s 35B — Protection of good samaritans
    SA: Civil Liability Act 1936, s 74— Good samaritans
    WA: Civil Liability Act 2002, s 5AD — Protection of good samaritans
    NT: Personal Injuries (Liabilities & Damages) Act, s 8 Good samaritans

    Queensland has no good samaritan laws. Legal protection from liability is provided only to employees of prescribed entities who are trained in first aid as part of their job.

    • Like Like x 1
  12. Good Vid Gobber, Yes if someone is choking or has stopped breathing then there is no choice. You can do it in a way to minimise possible spinal movement.
  13. Thanks Justus, It is good to know that if you act in good faith and within the limits of your training you are protected under the law. Even in QLD where the situation is not specifically legislated I would suggest you are protected under common law and the "Reasonable Person" defense. Would you agree with that?
  14. The logical explanation for Qld is that prior to, and since 2002, no-one in any state or territory has ever been sued successfully for rendering good faith, voluntary emergency care at an accident side.

    It should be noted that there is no obligation imposed by the legislator nor common law, that requires you to go to the aid of a stranger. In the absence of a duty, the injured person cannot sue for damages if he/she is not assisted by you.

    In Stuart v Kirkland [2009] Chief Justice of the High Court, Robert French said that there is no general duty to rescue.

    Yes cjvfr.

    If you decide to stop and help, the relevant test is "did you act in good faith?", otherwise it’s "was your conduct reasonable in the circumstances?"

    This means that your duty at best, is not to make the situation worse than if you had not been there at all. If you act, it is to be in 'good faith' with a genuine desire to help. You are to use common sense and not do anything that is plainly stupid of beyond your level of competence.

    Vaughan v Webb [1902] SR (NSW)
    MDD Pty Ltd v Rockdale Municipal Council [1993] FCA

    • Like Like x 1
  15. Mate, this is spectacularly good advice for everyone for everything everywhere.
  16. Thank you for the video. That is what prompted me add a little more to this thread.

    • Like Like x 2
  17. Drowning3.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  18. Some great advice here.

    I used to make my partner keep a crash card like one from http://crashcard.com.au - they are super useful.

    These days I suggest a camera to record what happened as many people don't remember exactly what happened.

    If there is an injury, you must involve the police as they need to take part in the reporting for CTP or Greenslip claim purposes.
    • Informative Informative x 1