NOTE: THE FORUM, CLUB CROSSTREK, NOR THE FORUM LEADERS, TO INCLUDE MODERATOR AWDfreak, ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF USERS WHO READ THIS POST. THE FOLLOWING POST IS ADVICE THAT IS DESIGNED TO AID IN USERS ABILITY TO ASSIST THEMSELVES AND OTHERS IN NEED ON ROADWAYS AND TRAILS, AND MOST ESPECIALLY WINDING ROADS SUCH AS ON MOUNTAIN PASSES AND CANYON ROADS. IT IS THE INDIVIDUAL USERS RESPONSIBILITY TO USE BETTER JUDGEMENT AND KNOW BOTH LOCAL, PROVINCIAL/STATE AND/OR COUNTRY'S LAWS AND PROTECTIONS REGARDING INITIATING ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE, RENDERING MEDICAL AID, AND GOOD SAMARITAN ACTIONS.
Reference post regarding roadside safety and first aid. Last revised second draft as of 1Oct2018.
With adventurous driving, most especially spirited driving, naturally much risk is involved. When the risk hits a point that something occurs which requires immediate action to resolve a hazard or life-threatening situation, a proper mindset is required to fulfill immediate action safely.
Based on experiences from military training on the U.S. Army's Combat Lifesaver (CLS) training which utilizes the modern TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care) methods, the most important thing to ensure before rendering aid to anyone, whether it be simple roadside assistance or helping a severely-injured motorist, is securing the scene. From a battlefield perspective, this would mean ensuring enemy combatants are not an immediate threat to the scene where treatment is needed.
In the civilian world as a motorist, that threat will primarily be directions in which traffic is expected to come from, as well as other contributing factors (flame hazards, falling tree hazards, adverse weather, etc.). The initial focus of reacting to such a situation will be on mitigating the risk of approaching traffic, especially if additional spirited traffic is to be expected.
One of the most forgotten yet basic signaling methods to indicate an area of a roadway is hazardous and/or has a MVC (motor vehicle collision) scene is to turn on the 4-way hazard/emergency lamps on the vehicle you are driving. Positioning is dictated by whether it is on a corner or straight. Straights offer greater visibility but should still have some distance set behind the hazard/MVC acting as a barrier, if one so chooses to do so. Around corners, it is best to position the vehicle with 4-way lights on before corner entry. The key is to protect life and property, in that order of priority.
Once the initial first-responding vehicle has been positioned correctly, use of visibility-assisting devices and/or clothing is recommended, but not necessarily required. Re-flex belts made by Sayre Industries makes a compact and cheap solution that can expedite equipping oneself with a visibility belt, reducing the space and complexity of a conventional high-visibility vest. If no reflective equipment is available, wearing the brightest layer of clothing available will be the best option, if a bright layer is present. And before opening the door, verify that traffic is NOT a threat to YOU before you exit your vehicle. Your aid is useless if you also become a casualty.
With the traffic cleared, exit the vehicle while maintaining situational awareness of traffic, and primarily looking at the direction of traffic most likely to be a threat. At this point, if equipped, use of signal flares, such as roadside emergency flares, is highly recommended as it is a universal signal to indicate something is amiss on the roadway. Position signal devices in a manner that creates a "safety zone" to guide traffic away from the road hazard and/or MVC, blocking any lanes necessary to maintaining the safety zone. It is ideal to maintaing some thoroughfare for traffic to pass through, but only if it is possible and safe for the scene and situation.
Once the scene has been "secured", meaning, signal devices and any available additional methods of signaling are implemented to help mitigate the risk of traffic, one can finally go to the casualties and asses the situation. Though entrapment can be a problem, other more important risk factors must be evaluated, such as flame hazards and initial injuries to personnel. If specific pressing risk factors exist in the situation that require expedited efforts to extract passengers, it would be perfectly acceptable to ignore certain risks while still exercising extra caution, aware of the existing risk factors. However, if hazards do not appear to require hasty removal of passengers, waiting for professional emergency services to perform the task is ideal (damaged metal components and torn metal body panels may pose a risk of injury that may lead to fatal bleeding to oneself), while actively maintaining situational awareness and having relevant tools and equipment within immediate proximity to combat hazards that may become an immediate problem.
However, if one is not the responding vehicle, but the vehicle and driver (and perhaps passenger(s)) in need of aid, assessing the situation on what requires attention first: addressing potential hazards that would impede escaping the vehicle, and verifying safety and life-saving tools are still within their designated locations, if so equipped. For example, it is futile to initially attempt escape vehicle entrapment when a vehicle fire within close proximity of driver and/or passenger(s) flares up, which necessitates the use of a fire extinguisher to prevent driver and passenger(s) from harm due to burn injuries. Fire hazards also pose an additional risk as they may start a wildfire, worsening the chance of survival for all parties involved.
Although it is not expected for spirited driving enthusiasts to carry emergency equipment, it would be in the best interests of all to both carry such equipment, and learn how to use them. The following equipment pertaining to emergency preparedness are highly recommended to store in the vehicle within arm's reach of the driver seat.
It must be stressed ALL of these items MUST be within arm's reach of a seatbelted driver to maximize their potential to save lives.
Please refer to the equipment manufacturer's training information for proper use of all equipment.
For personnel willing to spend more on additional emergency equipment and/or are capable of rendering aid, it is a much appreciated effort, but bear in mind your local area's good Samaritan laws and protections. In states such as California, protections are weak and rendering aid to someone you perceive as needing assistance can possible leave you in legal trouble in the future.
Additional reading and resources can be found here:
First-aid course designed to address urgent preventable-death injuries, U.S. Army Combat Lifesaver course student self-study guidebook: (It is permissible to ignore battlefield-specific topics typically taught to military servicemembers such as the Combat Casualty Card which do not necessarily apply to most civilian life)
Find local trauma and tactical first-aid class postings here:
Find local Stop The Bleed classes here:
(Most classes are FREE
Fire extinguisher training
In-person informal training for use of Orion road flares can be requested by directly private messaging AWDfreak assuming user is local to the San Francisco Bay Area within the state of California in the country of the United States of America. User must be within moderate driving distance if requesting informal training outside the SF Bay Area.