A man teaching a young girl how to drive.

Make First Aid Mandatory in Driving Tests

We all know that First Aid training can save lives.

So why is the government so reluctant to ensure that as many people as possible have first-aid skills?

The Bill to ensure that first aid becomes part of the school curriculum has sadly been dropped but there is now a call for first aid training to become a mandatory part of the driving licence.

Tory MP Will Quince believes all new drivers should have to undergo the training before they are granted a licence in a move which he, and I, believe has the potential to save lives.

 

The Current Rules For First  Aid & UK Road Users

At the moment, The Highway Code contains just one page on first-aid techniques, but in other European countries such as Germany, Austria, Hungary and Switzerland first-aid training is compulsory before a driving licence is granted.

In fact, in Switzerland, learner drivers are required to prove they have received 10 hours of certified first aid training to qualify for a driving theory test.

 

So Why Are Other Countries So Much More Savvy Than The UK When It Comes To First Aid?

In the UK, road accidents kill around 3200 people each year.

There is no doubt that many unnecessary road deaths every year could be avoided if those who were ‘first on the scene’ had basic lifesaving first aid skills.

Recently my 22-year-old son, who had only a few weeks before attended a Safe and Sound Emergency First Aid Course, was the ‘first on scene’ in a road accident.  He was jogging back from the gym when a child got knocked down by a car.

“I never thought that I would have to call on my first aid so soon after my course,” he said. “Nobody knew what to do and there was a lot of confusion.  I remembered what our trainer had told us to do:

  • Make sure you are not in any danger
  • Ask everyone to stand back,
  • Check to see if the child is breathing
  • Ask someone to call an ambulance
  • Talk to the child to reassure him.”

Luckily that was all he needed to do as the child was just a bit dazed but he stayed with the child until the ambulance arrived.

Would he have known what to do if the child had stopped breathing?

“I think I would but I probably wouldn’t have done anything had I not been on a  first aid course as I wouldn’t have  felt confident to take charge.”

 

Can I Rely On The Emergency Services?

It is no secret that ambulance waiting times have increased and the time between an accident and the arrival of the emergency services is critical.

If you can apply basic first-aid skills at the scene, lives may be saved and the severity of injuries reduced

 

So Should First Aid Training Be Mandatory As Part Of A Driver’s Licence?

Mr Quince thinks the  Bill would make a significant difference to the UK population’s knowledge of first aid.

“Around 63% of the population aged between 21 and 29 have a driving licence. If that figure remains steady, within around 13 years, this proposal would have helped to ensure nearly two-thirds of the people under the age of 30 in Britain would be potential life savers.”

He is advocating a four-hour practical first aid course run by an approved provider as the minimum requirement.

“Put simply, this change will give many more British people the chance to learn life-saving skills and potentially save a life,” said Mr Quince.

How reassuring would it be to know that the person in the street walking by you would know what to do if you collapsed and stopped breathing?

To brush up your first aid knowledge, get in touch today.