No-one leaves the house hoping to be in an accident when they get behind the wheel of a car, but that is a risk we all take every single time we drive. Accidents happen, and the result is very often injuries need to be treated as soon as possible with First Aid. Emergency services do a great job of responding to road traffic collisions, but it does take some time for them to arrive on scene, particularly if the accident takes place in a more remote location.
A new law being proposed in the UK would see compulsory first aid training become part of DVSA driving test, which has already been implemented in other European countries such as Germany (where learners are required to undertake 8 hours of first aid training), Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
According to figures released by the Department for Transport the number of people killed in road accidents in the year ending March 2015 came in at 1,780. But if we also take into account those seriously injured, that number leaps to 24,160. Furthermore, in the first 3 months of 2016, we have seen a 13% increase compared to last year. Don’t you think it’s time we should incorporate first aid into driving tests to mitigate the problem?
Basic life support and first aid training would certainly not have saved all of the lives lost, but you can almost guarantee that the number would have been dramatically less. The simple fact of the matter is that the majority of drivers on British roads today don’t have much of an idea on what to do if they come across a car crash, except call 999. That is perhaps why so many happen to wait around until paramedics arrive, during which time someone could have been saved, or at least made more comfortable. This is where first aid training can help increase the number of lives saved such as performing CPR which ‘buys time’ for emergency medical services to reach the scene. Effective CPR more than doubles the chance of someone surviving a cardiac arrest.
Currently there are several organisations who are very much in favour of compulsory first aid training becoming part of the driving test. Chief among that group is St. John’s Ambulance, who noted in a recent survey that 59% of all drivers on the road today would not have the confidence to help treat someone of they came upon a crash scene. That is a number that most people see as being too high, and the UK government is now looking at doing something about the issue, all in an effort to save lives, and ease some of the stress and strain placed upon emergency response teams.
59% of all drivers on the road today would not have the confidence to help treat someone of they came upon a crash scene.
That said, learner drives are required to learn and retain a vast amount of information in preparation for their theory exam, which is a prerequisite for the 55-minute practical driving test. During which, learners are expected to be able to drive in a controlled manner, navigate the road correctly including at junctions and carry out a manoeuvre. Although the practical test which during the first quarter of 2016 was conducted 441,599 times, is subject to changes that include more independent driving, taking directions from a sat nav and replacing the current vehicle manoeuvres with more real life scenarios, in an effort to improve road safety.
Having first aid training and knowledge of basic life support will mean that people will be better equipped to deal with injuries and accidents of all kinds.
A bill in support of the changes was introduced to Parliament back in March 2016, and will be looked at again in September this year. The aforementioned increase in casualties and injuries on the road may move things along at a quicker pace when it does get discussed again. This is a bill which, if passed, could have a great impact that reaches well beyond the roadways of Britain. Having first aid training and knowledge of basic life support will mean that people will be better equipped to deal with injuries and accidents of all kinds. Just imagine how many lives could be saved moving forward.
What do you think about the matter? Do learners currently have enough to learn for their test? Comment below, we would like to hear your views on this matter.