First aid tips for bikers

When you're out on the road it's always handy to know some basic first aid. Even if you are an experienced and cautious rider you can't account for other road users. A decent grasp of first aid will enable you to treat your own minor injuries and others who may be more seriously hurt.

Delivering essential lifesaving first aid to bikers involves many additional considerations due to heavy leathers, armour and helmets. The most important consideration for motorcyclists is the crash helmet. Even if you think someone has a head injury that needs attention, removing a helmet could cause serious harm if they have hurt their neck. The same goes for yourself - if you get injured then it is vital that you don't risk further damage to your spinal column.

With all roadside first aid, whether you are involved or just trying to help, you shouldn't try to do too much. Call the emergency services if they're not already on their way and while you wait just stick to the basics.

  • Stay calm and assess the situation.

Examine the scene for potential traffic hazards and ensure that nobody is any danger. If there is anyone available, ask them to highlight the incident for other road users. Look out for any oil or petrol spills and ensure that nobody lights up a cigarette.

  • If the biker or passenger appears to be unconscious, check for responses. Make sure that the person's airways are clear and that they are breathing whilst you try and determine the extent of their injuries. Only if you find the casualty is not breathing or in need of CPR assistance should the helmet be removed.

Clearing an airway or stemming heavy blood loss can help save someone's life, but trying to do much could make matters worse. If the casualty is conscious, do what you can to make them comfortable without moving them too much.

If the injured party is wounded, the blood loss could lead to shock. Lay them down and try to stem the blood flow and prevent infection by applying pressure to the area with a pad. Elevate the wounded area above the heart if it is possible and you don't suspect any bones are broken.

If you have a first aid kit with you, be sure to use gloves and sterile wipes to reduce the chances of infection.

  • Do not allow the casualty to drink or smoke
  • Stay with the casualty until help arrives and keep them warm by covering them with a blanket or coat.