If you wish to become a driver, you must be prepared for a situation when your vehicle gets into an accident or breaks down. Inn case of a break down, you must make sure that your vehicle does not endanger other road users. If possible, park your vehicle as far to the off the road as possible. Warn other road users: switch on your hazard warning lights and place a warning triangle in good distance from your vehicle. In poor weather conditions (i.e. poor visibility), leave your parking lights on. Don't stand between your vehicle and oncoming traffic.
Breakdowns on motorways
If you notice some malfunction in your vehicle while driving on a motorway, you should exit the motorway at the nearest exit, or at the service area. If this is not possible, drive to the hard shoulder as far to the right as possible and stop. Turn your wheels to the right. Place the warning triangle at least 45 meters behind your vehicle. When you and your passengers will be leaving the vehicle, they should use the right hand doors. Ensure that the passengers are away from the carriageway and the hard shoulder. Do not try to fix your car while parked on the hard shoulder. Instead, you should walk to the nearest emergency telephone and call for help. While you are talking on the phone with the operator you should be facing the traffic. Be ready to provide the details of the situation to the operator. After the call you should return and wait near your vehicle, but far enough from the carriageway and hard shoulder.
Dangerous goods vehicles
If you witness an incident, which involves a vehicle containing dangerous goods, DO NOT smoke and do not let others to smoke. Keep away from the vehicle because there is a high risk of explosion. DO NOT try to rescue anyone from the vehicle because you will risk your life. Instead, call the emergency services and provide necessary information about the accident and the location. DO NOT use a mobile phone near a vehicle, which carries flammable goods.
If you lose your vehicle's load while driving (i.e. load falls from the roofrack or trunk), you may stop to pick it only when it is absolutely safe to do so. If this happens on a motorway, you should never try to pick it yourself. Instead, park on the hard shoulder, call to emergency service and describe the incident and the location to the operator.
Accidents and emergencies
Remain at the scene
If you are involved in an accident, you must remain at the scene regardless whether the accident happened because of you or not. If you leave the scene you will be guilty of criminal offense. The penalty for this could be imprisonment if anyone was injured. Be ready to provide your name and address to the authorities and describe how the accident happened.
Accident happened - what to do?
- First thing to do if you get involved in an accident is to evaluate the situation, look if anyone may be injured, if a dangerous goods vehicle is involved, if there is a risk of fire.
- Switch off all engines, do not smoke and stop anyone from smoking
- Warn other road users by switching on hazard warning lights and placing a warning triangle.
- If a vehicle carrying dangerous goods is involved and there is a risk of explosion, do not approach it.
- Get help by call the emergency number 112 and be ready to describe the accident, the location and the amount of causalities. Mention if someone is unconscious or bleeding heavily.
- Provide first aid to causalities. Prioritise depending on the condition of each injured person.
- Do NOT move injured people unless it is necessary to prevent further damage. Moving injured people may cause further complications to their injuries. If a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, do NOT remove his helmet.
- Try to keep causalities warm, shelter them from rain or snow. DO not feed them and do not give anything to drink.
- Calm them down and provide reassurance. Note that they may be suffering from shock.
How to provide first aid
Knowing how to provide first aid is extremely important. The best way to learn first aid techniques is to attend special training course. Here we will provide basic knowledge of first aid.
Before providing first aid you should make sure your location is safe. Try talking to causality. If they do not respond, touch them and shake gently. If there is no response, perform chest compressions – place two hands in the center of the chest and push about 5 cm down with about 2 times in a second frequency. Your motions should be hard and fast. If you are giving chest compressions to a child, use only one hand and push less.
If causality is bleeding heavily you should examine the wound. Remember to wash or disinfect your hands before doing it. Check if there are any stuck objects, if they are deep in the wound do not remove them. Cover the wound with a clean piece of cloth and apply firm pressure to cover the wound, but avoid the stuck object.