It’s a moment you never want to see happen. You’re out riding with your buddy, and in a blur, they go down pretty gnarly.
One of the best things a rider can prepare for, is the worst. Knowing the basics of first aid—specifically some things that are helpful to motorcycle riding, can be extremely useful and even life saving. Here are some tips that’ll help you become a lifesaver.
Motorcycle First Aid Kit
First thing’s first, get a first aid kit. This will come in handy, whenever you get the most minor scrapes or if you have a rough fall that causes you some road rash. Either way, having a solid first aid kit is an essential piece of gear riders should always carry with them. Many first aid kits can fit perfectly in motorcycle packs, and some even come with extra emergency tools. You should always include a first aid kit into your gear lineup.
Here are some of my favorite first aid kits for motorcycle riders from this year:
Not only does this kit come with your standard first aid kit materials such as bandages, wraps and burn cares, but it also includes outdoor survival materials like pocket knives, fire starter and even a tourniquet. Overall for this price, you’re getting a ton of great items that will do perfect for that long distance trip or your everyday riding.
This lightweight and compact first aid kit is perfect for motorcycles that have limited storage. This can fit in your backpack or even in your storage compartment. Because it’s only about one pound, you can carry it with you everywhere you go, no problem. It has the essentials, with a few great add-ons such as a CPR kit.
This kit was designed by Veterans, so it’s safe to say it comes well-equipped. At this price, it comes with nearly everything you need to keep yourself and your riding buddies safe on the road. Not only does it come stocked with bandages, an emergency poncho, and several survival tools, but it’s only two pounds and compact. This is a great kit that will fit right in with your other gear for your rides.
Take A First Aid Class
In the event of a motorcycle accident, every second counts. That's why it's so important for motorcycle riders to know how to administer first aid. A first aid class will teach riders how to properly assess an injury and provide care in the event of an emergency. First aid classes also provide riders with the confidence they need to know that they can handle a situation if an accident does occur.
In some of these classes you can learn and get certified for life saving practices, like CPR, AED administration and more. While taking a class is definitely not required for riding a motorcycle, it will definitely help down the line should something ever happen both on and off the road.
What To Do On The Scene
If you do ever find yourself in an emergency situation while out riding, it’s important to recognize a few things. There are three things you should immediately do in these scenarios.
1. Assess the area for oncoming danger. Usually for motorcycle riders, this is oncoming traffic. If you are in a better condition than someone you’re riding with, take it upon yourself to get yourself, your buddy and bikes out of the way if you can. Sometimes, assessing the danger means knowing if you shouldn’t move your buddy out of the way. Some other dangers include: leaking oil, fire, debris, animals or even angered people.
2. This part is crucial. It should be done almost immediately if the situation is serious enough. That is to call emergency services. If you’re in too much shock yourself, assign someone by name/description to call the authorities. “Joe call 911” or “Blue shirt call 911”. If you just yell out “someone call 911,” sometimes no one will, because they believe the next person will.
3. The next thing after these two tasks are complete is to provide first aid care, if you can. If the person is in their right mind, allow them to guide you through where they are hurting/if they can hear/see/feel. These are all important because it helps you decide if you can implement some kind of first aid care yourself, or if you should wait for the professionals to arrive.
ABC’S Of First Aid
A - Airway
Sometimes airways can get blocked. One way to help is to gently tilt someone’s head back and open the airways by raising their chin.
B - Breathing
Gently press your ears to the injured person’s mouth and nose to check for breathing. If they’re not breathing, open their airways using the direction above and provide them with rescue breaths. If they need CPR, administer that as well. Some first aid kits, such as one mentioned above, feature CPR kits that help you enable this procedure.
C - Compression
If a person isn’t breathing, you may need to start chest compressions. Take a CPR or First Aid Class, to get the proper training on this. Chest compressions are vital for getting blood flowing throughout the body.
D - Deadly Bleeding
Unfortunately, a lot of motorcycle accidents can result in someone bleeding profusely. It is important to recognize such an injury and to do what you can to stop the bleeding. Whether this be through a tourniquet or just providing them with pressure on the wound.
With the proper training, motorcycle riders can learn how to assess a situation, provide lifesaving interventions and make decisions that could mean the difference between life and death. While fun and sometimes even more convenient than riding cars, riding motorcycles is quite dangerous. It is important to know the dangers and be five steps ahead of it, so that you always come prepared. Being knowledgeable of first aid will also help you be prepared at all times. First aid classes also teach riders how to properly use any first aid equipment they may have with them, such as an AED or defibrillator. In the event of a serious accident, first aid knowledge can help riders keep themselves and their passengers safe until help arrives. First aid kits can help riders keep themselves equipped with materials that will save lives and first aid knowledge will help them utilize kits with the utmost efficiency.
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