Here’s How You Can Be A Good Samaritan And Help Accident Victims
How you can make the most of the Golden Hour and try to save a precious life before the arrival of ambulance
According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, 1.5 lakh people were killed in 2016. The report denotes that the number of deaths by road traffic accidents (RTAs) has increased by 31% from 2007 to 2017. The 201st Law Commission of India in a report noted that over 50% of RTA deaths can be averted with timely medical care.
“Golden Hour” refers to the immediate one-hour time period following a traumatic injury, during which, chances of preventing death by way of prompt medical treatment are the highest. While most people would be mere witnesses to an accident, Delhi resident, Harjinder Singh (76) took upon himself the responsibility to be a Good Samaritan. He would transport accident victims to the hospital for free in his ‘auto ambulance’.
In 2019, AB InBev organised the Safer Roads for Safer Lives event with The Quint as part of its Safer Roads for Gurugram initiative, where Singh spoke about his journey. He said, “When someone meets with an accident on the road, while most people are making videos, I take help from others to put the victim in my auto. I administer first aid before moving them to the hospital.”
He was accompanied by Gulshan Kumar, an accident victim he saved earlier by taking him to a nearby hospital timely.
Here is how you can be a responsible citizen and make the most of this period to try and save a precious life before the arrival of ambulance:
1. Assess the accident site and remain calm
Try to understand if the accident involves only a single person or more. Be careful as there could be leakage in CNG/petrol pipes, live wires or broken glass. Remember to not panic. It is important for you and the victim to remain calm as it will help you take rational decisions.
2. Call the Emergency Services – Dial 102 for ambulance and 100 for police
Give the exact location of the accident, so that no time is wasted in them reaching the accident spot. While you’re waiting for authorities to arrive, check the last dialed number from the victim’s mobile and/or check for numbers of family members and inform them.
3. Help keep the traffic moving
It’s important to let other drivers know that there is an accident that they need to avoid. This will also allow the ambulance to reach the accident spot timely.
4. Check for pulse and provide first aid and
Avoid moving the victim, unless it’s necessary to avoid causing further damage. Try and assess the condition of the victim. If the victim is unconscious and not responding, give them CPR, if you’re trained to do so. If not, look for someone in bystanders.
5. Comfort and accompany the victim
If the victim is conscious, talk to him/her and inform them that help is on the way. As a Good Samaritan, you should make sure you accompany the victim to the hospital, till the arrival of his/her family members and provide all the support to the police to help them register a case.
In the past bystanders used to fear the ramifications of their involvement in road accidents - unwilling to get entangled in a charade of legal hassles, police interrogations and long wait at hospitals. To avoid this, the Supreme Court introduced the Good Samaritan law in 2016, which gives legal protection to those who help road accident victims, instructing police and hospitals not to hassle people who provide emergency help.
At the Safer Roads for Safer Lives event, Raghav Chadha, national spokesperson for Aam Aadmi Party, spoke on the road safety challenges faced in India. He said, “Road safety is an issue that is under-discussed, under-debated and under-legislated. The government and non-governmental organisations need to take cognizance of this. The issue of road safety is severe and has many challenges and difficulties. Distracted driving is an emerging issue with technological growth. Therefore, road safety is an issue that requires immediate attention”
The Good Samaritan law is a step in the right direction. However, there needs to be more awareness around the subject. The real challenge is to communicate to people that they have a new right and they should feel confident to exercise it. Let your friends and family know about their rights so that they don’t fight their conscious to help an accident victim.
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