Topic

ACCIDENT HANDLING

ARRIVING AT AN ACCIDENT

If you are involved in a crash or stop to give assistance

Use your hazard warning lights to warn other traffic

Ask drivers to switch off their engines and stop smoking

Arrange for the emergency services to be called immediately with full details of the incident location and any casualties.

Move uninjured people away from the vehicles to safety; on a motorway this should, if possible, be well away from the traffic, the hard shoulder and the central reservation

Do not move injured people from their vehicles unless they are in immediate danger from fire or explosion

Do not remove a motorcyclist’s helmet unless it is essential to do so

Be prepared to give first aid

Stay at the scene until emergency services arrive.

TIP

On a motorway, use the emergency telephone which allows easy location by the emergency services.

If you use a mobile phone, first make sure you have identified your location from the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder

REPORTING AN ACCIDENT

If you are involved in a road traffic accident as a driver and one of the following has occurred

A person, other than yourself, is injured

Damage is caused to another vehicle or to someone else’s property including street furniture

An animal has been killed or injured, except in your own vehicle or trailer

Then you must:

Stop and remain at the scene.

Give your registration number, name and address, and company contact details to anyone with reasonable grounds to ask.

If you don’t exchange details at the scene of the accident then you must do so at a police station or to a police officer within 24 hours.

 

REMEMBER

Failing to stop or report an accident can carry a maximum of six months’ imprisonment.

PROVIDING EMERGENCY CARE

Any first aid given at the scene of an incident should be looked on only as a temporary measure until the emergency services arrive. If you haven’t had any first aid training, the following points could be helpful.

Remember the letters DR ABC:

D – Danger Check that you are not in danger.

R – Response Try to get a response by asking questions and gently shaking their shoulders.

A – Airway If the person is not talking and the airway may be blocked, then place one hand under the chin and lift the chin up and forward. If they are still having difficulty with breathing then gently tilt the head back.

B – Breathing Normal breathing should be established. Once the airway is open check breathing for up to 10 seconds.

C – Compressions If they have no signs of life and there is no pulse, then chest compressions should be administered. Place 2 hands in the centre of the chest and press down hard and fast – around 5–6 centimetres and about twice a second.

You may only need 1 hand for a child and shouldn’t press down as far. For infants, use 2 fingers in the middle of the chest when delivering compressions and don’t press down too far.

Bleeding

First, check for anything that may be in the wound, such as glass. Taking care not to press on the object, build up padding on either side of the object. If there’s nothing embedded, apply firm pressure over the wound to stem the flow of blood. As soon as practical, fasten a pad to the wound with a bandage or length of cloth. Use the cleanest material available. If a limb is bleeding but not broken, raise it above the level of the heart to reduce the flow of blood. Any restriction of blood circulation for more than a short time could cause long-term injuries.

Burns

Check the casualty for shock, and if possible, try to cool the burn for at least 10 minutes with plenty of clean, cold water or other non-toxic liquid. Don’t try to remove anything that’s sticking to the burn.

BRIDGE STRIKES

Remember your vehicle height can change if you adjust the fifth wheel or unload or reload your trailer.

When you approach a bridge check that the height of your vehicle and load is less than the dimension shown on signs for the bridge.

Always obey the height signs on bridges along your route.

Narrow lanes often lead to low bridges, avoid them if possible.

Stop and seek an alternative route if:

You are diverted from your planned route

Your route is obstructed by a bridge lower than the height of your vehicle and load.

Understanding bridge height restriction signs

These signs are provided at bridges to show the maximum permitted vehicle height when less than 5.0m (16’6”).

If your vehicle or load is higher than the dimension shown on a road sign at a bridge, you must not pass the sign.

Warning signs and diversions signs may be visible before you reach a low bridge (below left).

In the event of a bridge strike you must:

Call the number on the plaque on the bridge, giving the bridge reference and the location.

Report the bridge strike to the Police by dialling 999.

Report the bridge strike to your employer.

Keep the public away and do not move your vehicle

BREAKDOWNS

If your vehicle breaks down, think of other road users:

Get your vehicle off the road if possible

Warn other traffic by using your hazard warning lights if your vehicle is causing an obstruction

Help other road users see you by wearing light-coloured or fluorescent clothing in daylight and reflective clothing at night or in poor visibility

Put a warning triangle on the road at least 45 metres (147 feet) behind your broken-down vehicle on the same side of the road, or use other permitted warning devices if you have them. Always take great care when placing or retrieving them, but never use them on motorways

If possible, keep your sidelights on if it is dark or visibility is poor

Do not stand (or let anybody else stand) between your vehicle and oncoming traffic

At night or in poor visibility do not stand where you will prevent other road users seeing your lights

TIP

Never use a triangular warning sign on:

Motorways
Slip roads
Dual carriageways
Hard Shoulder

Breakdowns on motorways

If your vehicle develops a problem on the motorway leave the motorway at the next exit or pull into a service area. If you cannot do so, you should:

Pull on to the hard shoulder and stop as far to the left as possible, with your wheels turned to the left

Try to stop near an emergency telephone (situated at approximately one-mile intervals along the hard shoulder)

Leave the vehicle by the left-hand door and ensure your passengers do the same.

You MUST leave any animals in the vehicle or, in an emergency, keep them under proper control on the verge.

Do not put yourself in danger by attempting even simple repairs

Ensure that passengers keep away from the carriageway and hard shoulder, and that children are kept under control

Walk to an emergency telephone on your side of the carriageway – follow the arrows on the posts at the back of the hard shoulder

Give full details to the operator; also inform them if you are a vulnerable motorist such as disabled, older or travelling alone

Return and wait near your vehicle – well away from the carriageway and hard shoulder

If you feel at risk from another person, return to your vehicle by a left-hand door and lock all doors.

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