Although nearly two thirds of all European car drivers feel confident to give first aid, only around 18 per cent know exactly what to do if they are the first to arrive at the scene of an accident. This is the result of a survey, EuroTest 2013, which has been conducted by the German motoring organisation ADAC, its EuroTest partner clubs, and the Red Cross , in 14 European countries.
More than 50% of European road fatalities die within the first few minutes after an accident. This number could be drastically reduced if everyone knew how to provide adequate first aid during those crucial first minutes. So, how good is the first aid knowledge of European car drivers; and how good is yours? Would you know what to do if you came across an accident or were involved in one this holiday?
Just slightly more than one third of the motorists interviewed in the ADAC survey knew that they should ensure their own safety first, whilst less than 50% knew that the accident scene had to be made safe for others – for example, by placing warning triangles and getting those who can be moved safely off the carriageway. Again, just under half, remembered to determine the condition of the casualties or to provide first aid right away. Just over two thirds thought to make an emergency call. This is encouraging, but not good enough considering that only just over half knew the correct European emergency number: 112. Some 40% of the participants indicated another national emergency number, and around 11% weren’t able to remember any emergency numbers at all.
The survey involved interviews with car drivers: 200 from each of the following countries: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Croatia, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, and the Czech Republic. The interviewees were divided into three age groups (18 to 25; 26 to 59; 60 years and older), with approximately equal proportions of men and women. They had to answer a total of ten questions, including two with practical exercises. There were no pre-defined answers, as in a multiple choice method, and most questions required more than just one answer.
Of all Europeans surveyed, the Germans had the best knowledge of the process of dealing with an emergency: more than 50% would have ensured their own safety, while about 75% would have made the accident scene safe. However, the Finns took the ‘European First Aid Crown’ because they had the confidence to give adequate first aid. About 2% of the interviewees in Finland had attended a first aid course as part of their driving licence training, with a further 75% attending a course for professional reasons. The Finns were also far more sure of themselves than their fellow Europeans with 85% feeling ‘confident to administer first aid’. Moreover, nearly all of them would have called the 112 emergency number for help. Results varied amongst other participant countries with the Czechs excelling at CPR whilst the Spanish performed poorly when trying to mitigate the effects of severe bleeding. In Italy only around 14% of participants said it was essential to try to prevent further accidents at the scene, and just 17% mentioned first aid. Amongst the Austrians there was a worrying lack of knowledge of emergency numbers with only 7% correctly identifying 112 as the correct emergency number.
This survey did not include participants from the UK so if you want to look up the answers before the next one is organised contact the Red Cross or the St John Ambulance. Both organisations regularly run short first aid courses. Guidelines for first aid and what do if an accident occurs on a European road can be found here http://eurotestmobility.com/images/filelib/First%20Aid%20Guidelines%20and%20Response%20chain_3019.pdf