Car accidents can present a variety of different problems and risks to the first aider. The most important factor that has to be addressed if safety. You need to make sure you are not at risk form other cars hitting you or the car you are dealing with. There have been many accidents where another car has hit the first aider or the car they are beside or in. The hard shoulder on a motorway is not a safe place especially when cars are passing at full speed.
It is also common for other cars to slow down and look, this in turn can cause another accident around you but stay focused on what is the most serious condition
You can help the person when you approach the car by telling them not to move, approach form the front and tell them to look straight ahead and not to turn round. Someone in a car can do serious damage if they have a spinal injury, turning to speak to a first aider. Keep talking to them calmly and clearly.
The best way you can help someone who you think may have a spinal injury is to support his or her head. If done from the front take extreme care if the airbag has not triggered. It is usually best to hold their head from behind. This is because you can be trapped between the airbag and the patient hurting them more and causing serious injury to you. Remember there are also side and rear airbags in modern cars. The airbag could go off without warning.
We know never to mover someone who has a spinal injury but if the car is on fire then it may be necessary to move him or her as quickly as possible to a place of safety. Steam from the radiator is often confused for smoke.
Other injuries in car accidents can be anything that is covered in first aid courses. There may have been an illness that caused the accident, like in the case where the driver has a heart attack. It is therefore important to look at the whole history and events that lead up to the accident. Ask questions to the people in the car and to other road users to get a picture of what happened then pass this information to the Paramedics and Police.
Often with car accidents less is more, and simply talking to the person, caring for them is enough. Always make sure the EMS have been called and always keep looking out for potential dangers. Dangers like sharp metal can cause deep cuts to anyone approaching a damaged car.