Motorcycle crashes can be traumatic and are a healthy fear every rider should take seriously. Fear keeps riders from overstepping boundaries and putting their safety in danger. This fear does not mean every rider should be too terrified to ride but that every rider should take the motorcycle seriously and be aware of the road at all times. This sense of danger has always been a part of the appeal of riding motorcycles, but that does not mean we should avoid learning what to do if we find ourselves first on the scene of a motorcycle accident.
Fortunately, there is an easy-to-remember acronym that will explain what a person should do if they find themselves as the first person on the scene of a motorcycle accident.
What is PACT?
PACT is an acronym that stands for;
Prevent further injuries
Assess the situation
Contact Emergency Services
PREVENT FURTHER INJURIES
Preventing further injuries is the first step to helping anyone involved in a motorcycle accident. Any injured persons may not be fully aware of where they are and may only be reacting to the accident and their injuries. In this situation, the best thing a bystander can do is guide them or move them to a safe space like the road shoulder or an area away from the road.
After helping injured people to safety, the next thing is to ensure the motorcycle or any empty vehicles involved in the accidents are off. Turning motorcycles and other vehicles off helps prevent any flammable materials from spreading. If you can, move any motorcycles or cars out of the road to avoid further accidents. You should only do this if you can do it safely. If it is too dangerous to remove the motorcycle from the road, it is best to move to the next part of this process and make the accident visible to other drivers on the road. If possible, use a vehicle’s hazard lights ahead of the accident, so drivers know to yield for what is ahead. If that is not possible, a flashing light or reflective vest will signal drivers to slow down. The important thing is to find something to signal drivers there was an accident, so they need to be careful ahead.
ASSESS THE SITUATION
After everyone is safe, check on the injured people. There may be apparent injuries like a broken bone, but there are also times when an internal injury occurs and is not clearly visible. Ask the injured person if there is anything that hurts beyond what is easily visible. If they have any neck or back pain, it is vital they remain laying down to avoid any further injuries. If they attempt to sit up with a back injury, it could make the injury worse. You may ask them to wiggle their toes or fingers to confirm there may be no serious spinal injuries. If they feel any “sharp pains,” treat them as if there is a confirmed spinal injury.
CONTACT EMERGENCY SERVICES
Contact the EMS to get help. Speak slowly and calmly so the emergency operator can understand you clearly and send help. Answer any questions they ask as quickly as possible. Some operators can receive text messages if you have poor service and cannot make the call. Text the address and do your best to explain the situation quickly.
TREAT THE PATIENT’S INJURIES
If you know first aid, this is the best time to use it. If not, we have some do’s and don’t’s in a difficult situation like this.
Cover the injured person to help keep them warm. Once their adrenaline wears off, they may go into shock, and anything to keep them warm may make things a little easier for them.
Confirm any injured people are in a comfortable position. It does not matter what the position is, only that they are in the most comfortable or least uncomfortable position for them.
If there are any deep cuts or lacerations, apply pressure to stop any bleeding. If you suspect broken bones, protrusions, or items penetrating the person, do not apply any pressure in that area. These injuries are a job left to the trained emergency responders.
If you think they may have suffered a spinal injury, do not move their head! Do what you can to support the head and neck area without moving their head.
Do not try to remove the person’s helmet unless it is a life-and-death situation. If the helmet affects the person’s ability to breathe or they are vomiting into the helmet, it is the only time it is okay to remove it. Be careful not to move their neck to reduce the chance of further injuring the person.
Do not move the injured person if they complain about neck or back pain. It is only acceptable to move them if they are in danger or may be injured further for staying in the same place. Move them the minimum amount to get to safety: the less movement, the better.
Do not panic! Screaming and yelling will not help the situation and may worsen a person’s shock if they panic after seeing or hearing you panic. If a bystander is panicking in the area, it is best to ask them to move away calmly.
Do not assume anyone else knows what to do in a situation like this. If people are panicking, do your best to guide them on how they can help or ask them to step away, so they do not worsen the situation.
ABOUT HERRMAN AND HERRMAN PLLC
With over 100 years of combined experience among the legal team of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our Texas personal injury attorneys have successfully resolved over 20,000 cases. When representing injured Texas residents, we fight for justice against wrongdoing and aggressively pursue the best resolution to complex personal injury claims.
If you or a loved one was injured, please contact us for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., is a locally based law firm focused on holding negligent individuals and companies accountable for their wrongdoing. We are not a personal injury mill that advertises nationwide. We provide individualized advocacy in attending to all aspects of claims that involve. Our firm has offices in the following locations: Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi South Side, Brownsville, McAllen, San Antonio, Houston, and Ft. Worth, TX.
We remain by our clients’ side, handling all aspects of their claims and attending to all legal, medical and financial needs. That dedication is combined with experience, legal knowledge, and insight from a former insurance adjuster and several former insurance defense attorneys. Whether our clients are suffering from physical pain from an accident or the emotional grief of death, we treat clients with compassion. We put their mind at ease during difficult times by answering their questions concerning the length of their claim, medical bills, financial compensation and their overall need for a lawyer.