Posted on Jul 25, 2019

Important Do’s and Don’ts at Motorcycle Crash Scenes

For many of us, our first instinct after coming upon someone who is injured or in danger is to help in any way we can. With motorcycle crashes, it’s important to know what you should and should not do if you ever come across or witness one. Understanding the proper course of action and what your limits as a bystander are could be the difference between helping and harming a crash victim.

The following are some best practices for how to respond at the scene of a motorcycle crash:

  • Call for help: The first thing anyone should do at the scene of a crash is call for help. Dial 911 to get the necessary medical attention for the injured individual as soon as possible. Provide the authorities with all necessary information, so they’ll be able to locate you quickly and easily.
  • Maintain your own safety: While some may be inclined to put themselves in harm’s way to help another, don’t risk your safety while trying to help another or you may end up as a secondary victim.
  • Get the victim out of harm’s way: While this may seem to contradict the previous point, it’s important to get the injured rider out of danger and to a safe place quickly. Ensure that the rider is moved away from the flow of traffic and their bike, which may become a fire hazard following a crash.

Ensuring that the crash victim is out of harm’s way and that the proper assistance is en route to your location are essential following an accident. Now here are a few actions that you should avoid at the scene of a crash.

  • Don’t remove gear: Unless it is absolutely essential to saving their life, leave the victim’s helmet and other gear in place as attempting to remove them could cause their injuries to worsen.
  • Don’t provide amateur first aid: If the injured rider has suffered a dislocation or fracture during the crash, it’s best to let the professionals take care of these injuries when they arrive. As stated in the previous point, attempting to do this could cause further injury to the victim.
  • Don’t give the victim any drinks or medication: While it might seem helpful to provide the crash victim with hydration or simple medications for pain, they may have suffered internal injuries during the crash which could be made worse by doing so.

While there are certainly many other factors at play, following these guidelines and using your common sense will serve riders well should they ever need to assist the victim of a crash. Hopefully, a rider will never need to use these tips, but it’s still incredibly important to be prepared to respond to a crash.

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Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.