accessibility & help

Young drivers get crash course in first aid

Inexperienced young drivers are much more likely to be involved in a road accident – so we’ve launched a new project to teach them life-saving skills.

It can be pretty daunting, being a new driver. All those rules to remember; the impatience of more experienced drivers; and, sometimes, that youthful ‘need for speed’.

No wonder they so often come a cropper. According to road safety charity Brake, an 18-year-old driver is more than three times as likely to be involved in a crash as a 48-year-old.

Critical response

That’s why a British Red Cross first aid team in Salisbury is providing free first aid training to young drivers.

Jo Riches, first aid trainer, said: “The first ten minutes after an accident are critical, so having some basic first aid knowledge can mean the difference between life and death.”

The bespoke course is designed to address the types of injuries caused by road traffic incidents – such as head injuries, severe bleeding, broken bones and shock.

The young drivers are also shown how to help an unconscious casualty, both when the person is breathing or not breathing.

Challenging course

The trainers have also gone to some trouble to make the course interesting. Jo said: “We set up scenarios with several casualties, then challenge our young drivers to make decisions about who needs help first.”

She added: “They are taught to first steer any walking wounded or unhurt passengers to a safe location, as they might cause other incidents or get hurt by walking into traffic.  

“We also teach them that the people making the most noise aren’t always the ones you should go to first – the fact that they are howling is in some respects a good sign. It’s the quiet, still casualties they need to worry about.”

She added: “Nobody knows, until they are faced with an emergency, how they will react. But I hope our young drivers will now have the confidence to act if they ever find themselves in such a situation.”

The Red Cross is providing the training in partnership with Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Read our first aid tips for young drivers

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