Riding a motorcycle has a lot of perks. It’s liberating to lane filter past rows of cars stopped at traffic lights, you can easily find parking for your bike on the street and riding is just fun in itself. But motorcyclists have very little protection if they are unfortunate enough to be involved in a crash. We have some pointers on what you can do to help if you do come across a motorcycle accident.
Motorcyclist falls off bike image from Shutterstock
I’ve had two minor motorcycle accidents already and I’ve only been riding for just over a year. A good friend of mine has had seven in the 15 years he’s been a motorcyclist. Two weeks’ ago, my boyfriend totalled his bike after a Ute driver made a turn from the middle lane. There was impact and he went flying into the tray of the Ute, but it could have been far worse.
I could go on and on about all the people I know who have had accidents and close calls on a motorcycle. It’d be tempting to blame car drivers for being careless (which they often are) but I’ve also seen some reckless motorcycle riding on the roads. Whatever the reason, motorcycle accidents are becoming more common.
So what do you do if you come across a motorcycle accident? Well, let’s hope you’re not stricken by the bystander effect and choose to do nothing. First Aid for Motorcyclists has a recommendation of the top five things to do at an accident scene:
- Assess the scene It can be shocking to see an accident so take a moment to calm down and assess the accident scene. Make sure there are no sources of danger to yourself and others.
- Get a response Find out if the motorcyclist is conscious and responsive. If they are conscious and can string full sentences together, ask them to remain still and reassure them that help will be on its way. Do not remove the helmet unless the motorcyclist is not breathing.
- Get help Call 000 for help as soon as you can.
- Manage the casualty
If the motorcyclist is unconscious and breathing, roll them into the recovery position. Look for signs of injury and manage them to the best of your abilities. If they are not breathing, take the helmet off, clear the airway and start CPR if you know how to do so.
Here’s a video which provides a little more detail about performing first aid for injured motorcyclists:
- Manage the scene Stay alert and try to direct bystanders and passing traffic away from the scene of the accident.