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Calls for ‘mandatory first aid training’ for UK drivers

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Motoring experts are calling for mandatory first aid training for all drivers so they know how to help in the event of a road accident.

The team at LeaseCar.uk are calling for the government to make first aid training compulsory when getting a driver’s licence.

The latest report on road collisions in Great Britain estimates 29,795 people were killed or seriously injured in 2022.

Research has found up to 59% of deaths from injury may have been prevented if first aid had been given before medical emergency services arrived.

Despite this, just one in 20 adults in the UK know what to do in a first aid emergency, and only five per cent would feel confident, knowledgeable and willing to help someone with a medical issue.

The skills learnt in first aid courses can help people treat casualties with life-threatening injuries and improve their chances of survival.

If first aid training was made mandatory, drivers would be equipped with a range of knowledge, including how to treat burns and wounds, CPR and shock.

First aid training is already compulsory for motorists in other countries, and many learner drivers in Europe must show first aid knowledge for their theory tests.

Countries requiring first aid training as a condition of a licence include Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia.

To get a driver’s licence in Switzerland, motorists must attend an obligatory 10-hour first aid course split into different modules, followed by a practical assessment and written test.

The Driving Licence (Mandatory First Aid Training) Bill was unveiled in the House of Commons in 2016 which would require all driving licence applicants to have had first aid training before undertaking a practical driving test.

However, there has been no progress or updates since.

Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uk said: “We believe that first aid training should be a requirement before getting behind the wheel to reduce deaths and help those with injuries on UK roads.

“It is extremely concerning that just five per cent of the public would be willing to help someone bleeding heavily, unresponsive or not breathing.

“First aid can be crucial when responding to a car accident and the correct knowledge and skills can help save lives while waiting for ambulances.

“Whether the first aid training covers the basics or advanced emergencies, the skills learnt in courses can drastically improve the chance of survival.

“The UK should be following in the footsteps of other countries who have made first aid training mandatory to give the necessary help to drivers if they get into an accident.

“It is disappointing that nothing came from the Mandatory First Aid Training Bill seven years ago, especially since over half of deaths from injury could be prevented with the first aid right training.

“That’s why we’re urging the government to seriously reconsider introducing first aid training for drivers to help anyone who experiences a road accident.”

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