What to do when you see a road traffic accident victim on your way to work ?.

This article highlights the plight of road traffic accident victims in India and why people hesitate to come forward to help. It also mentions the changing scenario wherein the good natured common man or woman coming forward to help these victims will not be harassed by the police and law.


India is rapidly growing and the growing population has lead to migration, congested and inadequate infrastructure. This along with high-speed bikes and cars coupled with lax traffic regulation leads to accidents. We often read about or witness unfortunate people becoming caught in road traffic accidents.

Impact of Road traffic accidents

In India, its estimated that around 400 people die every day on the streets and 43 children die due to accidents. The stark reality is every 10 minutes 3 people die in traffic accidents. More than two-thirds of these deaths due to injuries are males between 30-40 years. A young life full of hope is snatched, a family loses it's breadwinner, dependents are left clueless picking up the pieces.

Can we do something?

Prevention is better than cure and following speed and traffic regulations helps is preventing accidents. Once a road traffic accident occurs, depending on the gravity of the injuries the most crucial factor is How soon medical help is given on site and or in a Trauma Hospital. Many doctors talk about the Golden Hour. The First sixty valuable minutes will determine the life or death of major road traffic victims. This is the point where we (citizens, traffic police and hospitals) can play a vital role.

Myths about helping an accident victim

Many of us in India are worried that when we start to help an injured person, we would be burdened with legal responsibilities, appearing before the police and courts and times a financial burden. All these are myths and the regulations are more friends towards a member of public who comes forward to help such people.

When you witness an accident

  • Act quickly and proactively to be a leader, it just takes one person to step forward, then many others follow you
  • Do not crowd around the victim, given them space and vital air
  • Call for help. Traffic police and Ambulance services
  • Delegate people to divert traffic if it's a busy road
  • If you are trained in First Aid, then you can check for signs of life ( check pulse, breathing etc), do mouth to mouth respiration based on the victims' condition
  • If not trained, then all you can do is to apply pressure on a bleeding area, elevating the arm or leg up to reduce bleeding and arrange for shifting the injured victim to the nearest hospital
  • If someone is shouting or crying with pain it means that they are reasonably stable when compared to an injured person who's not talking or responding
  • While trying to move an accident victim, be cautious as injuries to the spine can be made worse by clumsy handling
  • Once help qualified help arrives, step back so that the ambulance or the paramedical crew can shift the injured victim. Be around to help if needed
  • If help is not at hand or due soon, then as a group try to hail a car, tempo or auto to shift the victim to the hospital. This is often seen in remote areas
  • Try to inform loved ones (wallet, mobile etc in dire situations can be or have been checked in an attempt to inform family, especially if the victim is unconscious or has serious injuries)

Key facts

  1. Supreme Court (2016), has issued guidelines for the protection of good minded citizens (who help an accident victim) from police and legal authorities
  2. The Good Samaritan will not be forced to disclose his or her personal details in a legal police record
  3. The police have to allow the helping citizen to leave if they do not wish to be a witness
  4. If it comes to giving evidence the helping citizen should be treated with respect and dignity
  5. It is voluntary and not Mandatory for the helping citizen to disclose their personal details
  6. In fact, the Government in Delhi has offered a cash reward to people who help to shift an accident victim to the hospital

If you are interested in getting trained in first aid many centers offer these courses depending on your locality. Some of them include

  • Nightingales Lifesaving Services (Bangalore)
  • Many Corporate hospitals also train citizens
  • Call Ambulance project

Lastly, inform you college or supervisor at work or office, I'm sure you will get an around of applause for helping a human at the time of need.

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Author: NK SHARMA21 Sep 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

References not required. Better to remove/edit.

Author: Natarajan21 Sep 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

Thanks for your suggestions sir. I will do it. I think it is still in editor review mode.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao24 Nov 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 5

The author has given an account of actions we can take if we happened to see a fellow who met with an accident. It is human to help a person who needs help. We don't we may also face such a problem any day and we may also wait for a helping hand. But I also agree that many people don't come forward to help him thinking that they may have to face the problem with police. Our police also will start enquiry from the person who has given them the information. In India, a common man has a lot of fear for police and police station. So they don't want to go into the cage of a tiger. But as a human being, we should see that he will be shifted to the hospital immediately. These days ambulances are also arriving very fast to the site. If we take him it is Ok. Otherwise making a phone call to the ambulance and see that he will be shifted to the hospital is our minimum responsibility, I feel.
A good article with good inputs. My appreciation to the author.

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