All of us that have a couple of miles under our belt on a motorcycle have seen a motorcycle accident, either happening in front of us, involved in one, or have rolled up on one that has just happened. The would’a, should’a, could’a will come later; right now it’s time to act. Can you help? Are you just a bystander in the way, or do you have training in accident management and can help? I urge everyone to take a course when available and add it to your riding skills. Thaaat’s right, I said Riding Skills. Until then, here are some basics if you find yourself in this position.
Secure the area to prevent any further accidents. Clear the roadway of motorcycles if possible and send a rider or two back at least 500 feet to slow traffic before they get to the accident scene. Securing the area is most important if an injured rider is in the road, moving an injured rider could cause more damage and is not recommended. (this is where the training is needed, as in, helmet removal on an injured person, only do so if you know how and it is life threating to the injured to leave it on) Turn on your four-way signals, and park away from the accident so emergency vehicles can get to the injured.
Assess the situation before you call 911. By being able to clearly tell the operator the situation they in turn will be more effective in the dispatch of needed personnel.
Call 911 If you are in a group designate one caller, overwhelming the operator might slow things down. Be calm as you can and answer the operators questions as well as you can. If you ride with a tail gunner in your group it will be their job to contact the leader of the group after helping to secure the accident scene, making sure 911 was contacted and helping the victims as best they can.
Treating the accident victims is a touchy subject. Of course, do things like lifting the motorcycle off the victim, or pull them from a fire scene, but absolutely keep the victims movement to a minimum until help arrives. Very very carefully clear the airway if needed to preserve life. If the person does not breathe on their own, assist them with two breathes initially, then one breath every 6-8 seconds. Elevate uninjured legs and stay calm. Stop the bleeding with direct pressure on wounds. Gather information from the injured person to help the EMT when they arrive and to take the focus from the injuries.
Staying calm is essential and you will if you know what to do and how to do it at an accident scene.
ALR Road Captain, Omaha Post 1