First Aid Training for New Drivers
What do you think about First Aid Training for new drivers? Well, picture yourself driving home from work one evening. It’s winter and it’s dark. The weather has turned to a night of blustery, wintery showers. You’re looking forward to getting home. As you turn the bend, you prepare to accelerate, suddenly you approach a scene you weren’t anticipating – vehicle debris, mud and gravel are strewn across the road. Across the white lines you can make out what appears to be a car on its side. You stop, put your hazards on and get out of your car to investigate. You attempt to listen for any signs that the occupants are ok, but the noise of the accelerator is making it difficult to hear. You feel your heart rate increase and a knot in the pit of your stomach. What do you do next?…
Well, if you were a driver of a vehicle in Germany, Austria, Switzerland or Bulgaria, you’d know how to make the scene safe and then administer potentially lifesaving First Aid until the emergency services arrive. You’re able to do all of this because when learning to drive you attended First Aid Training for new drivers. In fact, if you’re Swiss, you had to complete 10 hours’ worth of training before even applying for your licence. In France, anyone first on the scene of such an incident has a Duty of Care to provide assistance if they are capable of doing so.
However, if you hold a UK Driver’s Licence, the chances are, you’re one of the 93% of people without up-to-date First Aid training. In the UK, there is no requirement to complete any First Aid training for new drivers, meaning two-thirds of people have said they wouldn’t feel confident attempting to save a life, and 24% of people would do nothing until the ambulance arrived. We all know to call the emergency services, but as a trained first aider, you could provide the operator with additional details that could really help the ambulance team when they arrive.
What’s the current situation?
With approximately 23,700 people either killed or seriously injured on our roads in 2015, it’s safe to say some First Aid training for new drivers would go a long way. The current UK government policy of leaving it up to the individual to register for First Aid training simply isn’t working, and we’re lagging behind many of our European neighbours as a result.
The current Driver’s Theory Test does include some questions on First Aid, which is a good place to start. However, is this really enough to prepare a new driver to assist someone in the case of an emergency? We’d have to say no. To develop a practical understanding of the skills necessary to help someone in an emergency some hands-on training would really be needed.
How can we Improve?
Now, we’re not suggesting every driver should be sent on a First Aid course- or that you’d all need to re-sit your tests- but with around 450,000 new drivers passing their test each year, there’s certainly room to improve our woeful First Aid statistics. Let’s take a look at the numbers. Approximately 63% of the population aged between 21 and 29 have a driver’s licence. If those figures remain steady, which they are set to do, then within 13 years we could have nearly two-thirds of people, under the age of 30, in possession of the knowledge, skills and confidence to be potential lifesavers.
Moreover, the skills learned will not just be applicable on the road. It is estimated around 140,000 people die each year when the early intervention of a trained First Aider could have potentially saved their life, just think of the impact it would have if we provided these new drivers with these lifesaving skills.
What do you think?
We think it’s a no-brainer, that the pros far outweigh any cons, but what do you think? Is the current volunteer basis of First Aid enrolment working for us? Is it time for some kind of compulsory program to be legislated for? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. If you are interested in booking a First Aid Course, take a look at our training sessions here or give us a call today on 01698 421 444.