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What onlookers should do if they see a motorcycle crash

You're driving down the road with a motorcycle behind you. A car is waiting to turn left. It starts to turn as you go by, and you realize the horrible truth: That driver did not see the motorcycle.

A split second later, you hear the impact. You pull over, jump out of your truck and see the biker and the motorcycle lying on the side of the road.

What should you do? Here are a few helpful tips:

  1. Leave the person's helmet on: Wrenching it off can cause serious neck injuries. In many cases, even the EMTs and others who arrive on the scene will not remove a person's helmet on the site or in the ambulance, waiting to get to the hospital where care can be rendered.
  2. Call 911 as soon as possible: Running over to help out is great, but make sure real emergency response teams are on the way. Every second counts for that motorcyclist.
  3. Work with other drivers and bystanders to stop traffic: Do not put yourself in danger, but warn them away from the crashed bike. This is especially true if the motorcyclist is still in the road. You may not want to move him or her, but you also do not want to allow a secondary accident to occur.
  4. Give first aid and CPR if you have the proper training: This can increase someone's odds of survival. You help buy time until the ambulance arrives.

If you suffer injuries in a motorcycle crash, you must know all of the legal options that are open to you. Even if you get care quickly, serious injuries can have a lasting impact on your life.

Source: Ride Apart, "How to Respond to a Motorcycle Accident," Tim Watson, accessed May 23, 2018

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