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Registry of Motor Vehicles - Vehicle Accidents

Think Before you Act

Some day you may be driving along a highway and come upon a serious accident. Very likely your first instinct will be to run to the car involved and start taking people out. Both medical and accident records show that the efforts of untrained rescuers often make the injuries caused by the accident worse.

If You Arrive First at an Accident

PREVENT A SECOND CRASH: Pull completely off the road far enough away from the crash scene to protect the vehicles from further collision with other cars. Turn on your vehicle hazard warning lights.

REDUCE FIRE HAZARD: Turn off the ignition of the wrecked vehicles. Keep smokers away. In case of fire, try to put it out with a fire extinguisher, dirt, or a blanket.

ATTEND FIRST TO ANYONE WHO IS NOT BREATHING OR WHO IS BLEEDING SEVERELY: To stop the bleeding put the cleanest available pad directly on the wound and apply pressure. Use cloth, a handkerchief, clothing, or your bare hand if necessary. If the pad becomes blood-soaked, leave it on, put another on top of it. Maintain pressure until professional help arrives.

GET HELP: Ask the next person who stops to phone for police and ambulance. Ask others to warn approaching traffic.

Artificial Respiration

To help a person start breathing:

1. Remove anything in their mouth that might block air. Tilt the head back, pull chin upward so tongue does not fall back to block airway.

2. Pinch nose shut. Seal mouth with yours. Blow into mouth. Blow hard for adult; gently for infant.

3. Remove your mouth, take a deep breath, blow in air again -- every five seconds for an adult, every three seconds for an infant.

4. If chest fails to rise and you hear no exhaling, recheck mouth for possible blockage, again tilt head back, pull chin up, and start the technique again.

5. If you can not get a tight seal over the person's mouth, close mouth and breathe into nose. For an infant, breathe into both mouth and nose.

6. Continue effort until professional help is on hand, or until the injured person is breathing.


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