Whether you are driving a car, riding a motorcycle, a scooter, a bicycle or even on foot, speed, alcohol, fatigue, the phone, are all dangers to be faced each day. To avoid at best putting yourself or other road users in danger, good reflexes should be adopted. In the event of an accident, remember three essential words: protect, alert, help. How to avoid a traffic accident? How to react in the event of an accident? Discover all the prevention tips from the firefighters!
HOW TO AVOID A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT?
Stay Focused on the Road
To be in full possession of your faculties and to maintain your concentration on the road, scrupulously respect the local road rules and follow our advice:
- Avoid drinking alcohol before driving.
- Do not use your phone, whether to send a message, consult the Internet: even with a hands-free kit, your attention is focused more on the conversation than on your driving, and you risk a collision. Likewise, park before handling your GPS: while you are setting your route, you are not looking at the road.
- If you are taking medication, pay attention to the pictograms on the boxes: some treatments may involve risks for driving.
- Take a break at least every two hours, and if you feel tired, don’t hesitate to stop for a nap: drowsiness significantly increases the risk of car accidents.
Before getting behind the wheel, ensure you take the following precautions:
- Pay attention to weather forecasts and traffic conditions.
- Equip the vehicle according to the season (adjust the tyres in winter).
- Have a working flashlight in the car in case something goes wrong at night.
- Equip yourself with a first aid kit (survival blanket, compresses, scissors, etc.).
- Walk around the car regularly to check the state of the various levels (oil, coolant, brakes, windscreen washer, etc.), tire pressure and wear (including the spare wheel!), Lighting (headlights, dipped beam headlights, indicators, etc.) and the condition of the windshield wipers.
Drive Safely and Serenely
Here are some principles to apply for a more serene driving:
- Stay calm: there is no point in getting upset because of a traffic jam, a user who seems to be looking for his way or any other unforeseen event on the road. Losing control of yourself is risking losing control of your vehicle.
- Don’t forget about the turn signals: this may seem obvious to you, but many motorists do not use them to signal a change of direction or an exit from a parking space, sometimes just out of laziness. Don’t make the same mistake and always remember to let other road users know which direction you are going.
- Check blind spots: When swerving to overtake a vehicle or entering a roundabout, make sure that no cars or two-wheelers are in your blind spot.
- Observe the safety distances: in the event of emergency braking, you risk hitting the vehicle in front of you if you drive too close to it. If you overtake, do not fall back in a “fishtail”, that is to say too close in front of the vehicle passed: this attitude tends to exasperate users.
- Park in the appropriate places: do not park on pedestrian crossings, on the emergency lane or on routes intended for emergency services (firefighters, etc.), nor on a cycle path, which would force cyclists to move away and put themselves in danger.
- Travel in your lane: do not take the city bus lanes, stay in the right lane on the motorway if you do not overtake … Driving in the wrong place can surprise other users and cause accidents.
Anticipate the Behavious of Other Road Users
Anticipation is one of the key words on the road: You must always aim to anticipate the reactions and possible errors of other road users, changes in road surface, curves and turns … Here are some examples of questions you should ask yourself:
- If you see a car with a foreign license plate: is the driver familiar with the local roads?
- It’s raining and a cyclist is riding on the road: are they seeing well enough or are they in danger of slipping or swerving?
- Children running on the footpath: are they likely to cross without looking?
- The motor vehicle in front of you is progressing very slowly: is it likely to stop or change direction without turning on the traffic turn signal?
Generally, you should always take into account all of the other road users with whom you share the road and try to foresee what may happen in the seconds to come. Thus, you will be less surprised and will be able to react more serenely. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in Western Australia you should contact a car accident lawyer Perth.
WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF A CAR ACCIDENT?
In the event of an accident, three essential words should be remembered: protect, alert and help.
On the road or on the highway
- Switch on the hazard warning lights as soon as you slow down;
- Park carefully on the emergency lane to assist someone. Warning: it is important to prevent an additional accident from occurring and not to hinder the arrival of help;
- Equip all passengers with yellow safety vests;
- Shelter the passengers outside the vehicle, leaving through the doors least exposed to danger, and stand behind the safety barriers if they exist, or away from the road;
- On the road, mark the accident with a triangle at least 30 meters away in both directions of traffic, if it is possible to do so in complete safety (traffic density, visibility, etc.);
- At night, illuminate the damaged vehicles using the main beams of the other vehicles present;
- Prohibit smoking near damaged vehicles to prevent fire;
- Keeps traffic flowing when an accident occurs on the oncoming lane. Don’t slow down to watch.
For damaged vehicles:
- Switch off the ignition of all vehicles;
- Disconnect the battery as sparks can cause a fire;
- Chock vehicles in the event of instability (shifting a gear or applying the handbrake).
Alert the emergency services as quickly as possible. Every minute counts!
Always notify the emergency services by dialing 000 from a landline or mobile phone. On the motorway, expressways and tunnels, emergency call points are placed regularly and are available 24 hours a day. They allow you to be put in touch with assistance. The call is free and geo-located.
Never think that another person has already alerted the emergency services. Keep calm, be brief and to the point:
- Describe the exact location of the accident, if possible: name of the road, direction in which the accident occurred … (refer to signs, terminals, etc.);
- Mention the number and type of vehicles involved in the accident and any special circumstances;
- Mention the number and apparent condition of the injured.
- To find out how to contact the emergency services, go to the Emergency calls section.
While waiting for help to arrive, it is necessary to assist the wounded without risking aggravating their condition.
- Leave victims in vehicles, except in the event of fire or other risk;
- If the victim is unconscious, loosen her clothes, clear her airways (nose and mouth) and put her in a lateral safety position;
- If necessary, perform cardiac massage;
- In case of profuse bleeding, compress the wound;
- Cover the victims;
- Talk to the wounded, comfort them;
- Ask passers-by to help you or to move away.
- Do not move an injured person, except in cases of imminent danger (fire, risk of explosion, heavy traffic, etc.);
- Do not remove a victim’s helmet;
- Do not give him anything to eat nor to drink;
- Never remove clothing from a burnt person.
In the Event that the Victim Must be Moved Take Certain Precautions:
- Do not pull them by the limbs;
- Avoid any twisting of their spine;
- Place the victim in the lateral safety position (PLS): lying on their side with the knee bent so that they do not roll over.
In the Event of a Vehicle Fire:
- If a fire starts, if possible, use an extinguisher to attack the fire under the engine and through the grille. Do not take unnecessary risks while waiting for help to arrive;
- If the fire has already been declared, get away from the vehicle as quickly as possible, after bringing any victims to safety;
- Never use water on a fire, it will make the situation worse;
- Do not lift the hood of a burning car;
- Beware of the risk of explosion, especially on LPG vehicles.