DFA member puts life-saving skills to good use

18 June 2015

A Driver First Assist (DFA) member has been praised by local police for his handling of an accident on the M6 last month. The collision involved three vehicles on the M6 between junctions 10 and 10A at night, just north of Walsall, and affected two lanes of the carriageway. DFA is a road safety initiative which seeks to reduce road fatalities through incident first-on-scene training.

When the police arrived they found a Mark Thompson Transport tractor unit in lane two, effectively protecting both the affected vehicles and casualties. It is thought that the quick response of driver Nigel Abbott reduced the severity of the injuries suffered by the casualties, as well as preventing more vehicles from being involved. 

PC Martin Smith of Central Motorway Police Group said: “I trained Nigel at his home depot recently, and have to say that his vehicle positioning and casualty management were straight out of the manual. I also noticed that he was doing a brilliant job of managing a casualty with spinal injuries. Ensuring that no further damage is caused in these ways is a simple and essential part of accident management and Nigel is a brilliant example of what the Driver First Assist training can offer.”

Nigel Abbott, DFA member and driver at Mark Thompson Transport, said: “When the training at work was offered, I was one of the first to volunteer. I come across road accidents every day when driving for work, and know the impact they can have on all road users. While I hoped I’d never have to put what I’d learnt into action, I’m pleased that in this instance I was able to help and encourage anybody who spends a lot of time on the road to think about getting involved.”

By educating professional drivers, of which there are now approximately 466,600 on UK roads, on how to manage the scene of a collision, DFA predicts road traffic fatalities could be cut by up to 46 per cent. The DFA course trains drivers how to deal with the aftermath of a crash before the arrival of the emergency services. This includes guidance on how to secure the scene, administer basic first aid and provide accurate information to the emergency services when needed.

Media contacts:

For further information please call Caroline Holmes or Belle Moss, on Tel. +44 (0)20 7952 1070 or email: cholmes@torqueagencygroup.com or bmoss@torqueagencygroup.com.

Notes to editors:

Driver First Assist is a not-for-profit UK road safety initiative seeking to reduce deaths and life-limiting injuries by training professional drivers – those most often first-on-scene at road traffic collisions (RTCs) – to manage the scene of incidents and to administer basic, but potentially life-saving first aid. Currently, between 39 and 85 per cent of RTC deaths are caused by airway obstruction, which causes death within four minutes – half the ambulance target time. With the support of all three emergency services, the Driver First Assist programme has the potential to reduce the number of fatalities caused by RTCs by up to 46 per cent, and while its initial focus is professional drivers, the course is open to anybody with an interest in saving lives. www.driverfirstassist.org

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