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The Driver's Handbook

Giving First Aid

Even if you are not trained in first aid, you can help by applying basic measures to clear a victim's airway and control bleeding. While you wait for an ambulance, you can follow these simple guidelines:

Clear airway by:

  • supporting their head and carefully rolling the patient on to their side
  • clearing any obstructions and draining any fluid from their mouth
  • gently tilting their head back to open their airway.

Control bleeding by:

  • uncovering the injury
  • applying direct pressure over the wound (use a clean cloth or other clothing, if possible).

Giving further assistance

If you know how, you can also give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, or CPR, if it is required.

Untrained people are often frightened to touch casualties - but early intervention can save lives or decrease the impact of injuries, leading to quicker recovery or lesser injuries for the victims.

These are valuable skills that can help in road crashes, and they are also useful in other accident situations. Courses in First Aid are available from a range of providers including St John Ambulance and the Australian Red Cross Society.


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