Written by Dawn Hinz
Sadly it seems there are more car versus cyclist accidents. In 2006, 772 people were fatally injured in cycling accidents. Where as in 2016, that number was up to 840; including 5 local cyclists. (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts)
We do everything we can as a cyclist to minimize the danger. We wear bright clothes, our bikes look like Christmas trees and most importantly, we follow the rules of the road. Unfortunately that doesn’t guarantee that we aren’t seriously injured. What should you do if tragedy strikes you or your group?
- Everyone should carry a cell phone on their body. I do not agree with keeping your phone in a bag on your bike. If you are thrown from your bike you may not be able to reach your phone.
- KNOW WHERE YOU ARE. You should know your route and where you are along that route. This way when you call 911, emergency personnel can find you as quickly as possible, when every minute counts. Go one step further and set up an activity tracker that relays your location to a reliable person who is not a part of the ride. This way they get a notification if you stop moving and can call for help.
- Know how many people are in your group. 911 will need to know how many patients need an ambulance. Then, go help your friends. You should know any help you render will be covered under Michigan’s Good Samaritan Act (MCL 691.1501). This law basically states that a volunteer trying to help someone cannot be held liable if those actions cause further injury; excepting gross negligence.
- Do not move someone unless the location causes further danger or harm. I.e. Perhaps you need to slide someone off the road if traffic is not slowing down or giving you space.
- Do not unnecessarily adjust the patient’s head. If you hear snoring, gurgling or no breaths then gently place the head in a “sniffing” position.
- If you see blood, control the bleeding with direct and continuous pressure. Put your hand or hands over the wound and keep pressure on the wound until help arrives. Every red blood cell counts.
- If it is cold or even slightly chilly outside keep the patient warm if possible. Hypothermia causes shivering which wastes precious ATP. Even slight hypothermia will worsen a trauma patient’s outcome. Give them your jacket or get blankets from bystanders.
With these actions you have given your friends a fighting chance in the Emergency Room. If you would like to take it one step further then it is time to find a First Aid and CPR class. Stay safe out there.