In case of an accident

Contents

When to contact the police

You must always contact the police after a traffic accident if:

* You can also contact the installer of the device (instead of contacting the police).


You must always contact the police if you have been involved in a traffic accident where someone has been seriously injured

If you see someone driving recklessly or if you suspect drunk driving, you should also contact the police, but you are not obligated to do so.

When to stop

Whether you should stop at the scene of an accident depends on whether you were involved in the accident, if you are first on the scene and if there are emergency vehicles on site already.

If you were involved

If you have been involved in a traffic accident, you must always remain at the scene of the accident – even if you are certain you were not at fault – and try to help anyone who has been injured or is otherwise in need of help.

If anyone else involved in the accident request it, you are also required to provide your name and address, as well as details about the incident. However, you should not try to settle the issue of who's at fault on site, let the insurance companies work that out afterwards.

You must always remain at the scene of the accident until rescue personnel have arrived and you have provided all the information requested.

Not remaining at the scene of an accident, or leaving it too soon, is a criminal offence which can lead to imprisonment, fines and a revoked driver's licence. The more serious the accident, the more serious the penalty is.


Not remaining at the scene of an accident after a traffic accident is a criminal offence

If you are first on the scene of an accident

If you are first to arrive at the scene of an accident which you have not been involved in and it is obvious that someone is injured or in need of help, you are also obligated to stop. If possible, call for help (by calling 112) and warn other road users (by putting out a warning triangle). You should also try to help anyone who is injured to the best of your ability.

If you are not first on the scene of an accident

If you are not first to arrive at the scene of an accident, you should still stop and ask if there is anything you can do to help. However, you should not just stop and look out of curiosity.

If there are already emergency vehicles on site, you should normally not stop as it only restricts their ability to manoeuvre and might prevent other emergency vehicles from reaching the site. Unnecessarily stopping also increases the risk of another accident happening.


Do not fix your eyes when passing the scene of an accident, look at the road and traffic ahead of you instead

When passing the scene of an accident you must maintain a sufficiently low speed. Do not fix your eyes when passing – if you get distracted by the accident and look in the wrong direction you risk crashing into the vehicle in front of you and causing another accident.

What to do

Most of us are lucky to never experience a serious traffic accident. But in case you are involved in one or are first to arrive at the scene of an accident it is important that you know what to do. Your efforts can mean the difference between life and death.

The most important thing is not that you do everything precisely right, but that you actually do what you can to the best of your ability.

Assess the situation

The first thing you should do is assess the situation so that you can prioritize what needs to be done first. Then, in whichever order is appropriate, you should warn, call 112 and perform first aid LABC.


In order to prioritize correctly at the scene of accident, it is essential to first assess the situation

It is the first five minutes after an accident that determines how great a chance a seriously injured person has to survive, so try to act as quickly as possible.

Warn

In order to avoid more accidents, it is important that you warn other road users by turning on the hazard warning lights and putting out warning triangles.

If there are vehicles on the road that pose a danger or an obstacle to traffic, they should, if possible, be moved to a safer place.


Warn other road users by turning on the hazard warning lights and putting out warning triangles

Call 112

Call 112 as soon as you can to get help in handling the situation and in order for SOS Alarm to send rescue personnel to the scene of the accident as quickly as possible.

Remember to assess the situation before calling 112 so that to you can answer questions about what has happened and where it has happened.

First aid LABC

LABC is an abbreviation that stands for: Life-threatening situation, Airways and breathing, Bleeding, Circulatory shock. It also tells you in which order to prioritize in the event of an accident.


Try to memorize what LABS stands for

Life-threatening situation

You should immediately help a person in a life-threatening situation. It could be moving someone who is otherwise at risk of being run over or being exposed to fire. A person with arterial bleeding is also in a life-threatening situation.

Airways and breathing

Begin by making sure the person has clear airways. You do this by gently tilting the head backwards with one hand on the forehead and two fingers under the chin. This head-tilt, chin-lift manoeuvre prevents the tongue from falling back into the throat.

After this, examine whether the person is breathing by listening to the person's nose and mouth while watching if the chest rises and falls. If the person is breathing, you should also feel warm air against your cheek while you are listening.

If the person is unconscious – but breathing normally and has a pulse – you should place him or her in the recovery position to minimize the risk of suffocation.

This is how you place someone in the recovery position:

  1. With the person lying on their back, kneel on the floor at their side.
  2. Extend the arm nearest you at a right angle to their body with their palm facing up.
  3. Take their other arm and fold it so the back of their hand rests on the cheek closest to you, and hold it in place.
  4. Use your free hand to bend the person's knee farthest from you to a right angle.
  5. Carefully roll the person onto their side by pulling on the bent knee.
  6. Their bent arm should be supporting the head, and their extended arm will stop you rolling them too far.
  7. Make sure their bent leg is at a right angle.
  8. Open their airway by gently tilting their head back and lifting their chin, and check that nothing is blocking their airway.
  9. Make sure the person is warm.
  10. Stay with the person and monitor their condition until help arrives.


The recovery position locks the body in a position that makes it difficult for the unconscious person to roll onto his or her back


Putting someone in the recovery position will keep their airway clear and also ensures that any vomit or fluid won't cause them to choke

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

If the person is breathing abnormally, does not breathe at all or does not have a pulse, you should assume that they have suffered a cardiac arrest (heart attack) and immediately call 112 and begin CPR.

You perform CPR by alternately giving 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths (mouth-to-mouth method).

When performing chest compressions, place the heel of one hand over the centre of the person's chest, between the breast areas. Place your other hand on top of the first hand. Keep your elbows straight and position your shoulders directly above your hands. Use your upper body weight as you push straight down on the chest at least five, but no more than six, centimetres. Push hard at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions a minute.

Before giving rescue breaths, you must first open the airways using the head-tilt, chin-lift manoeuvre. Then pinch the person's nostrils shut and cover the person's mouth with yours. Blow in air for about one second, or until the chest rises. Do this twice.

Do not stop the treatment to check for breathing or pulse. Continue alternately giving 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until help arrives or until the person is breathing normally.


When giving chest compressions, place your hands on each other, between the person's breast areas, and push down on the chest hard 100-120 times/minute

Important note

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) requires practical training in order to learn it properly. Reading a description of how to perform CPR does not correspond to having passed a CPR course.

If you are interested in attending a course and learning more, we recommend that you contact Svenska rådet för hjärt-lungräddning.

Bleeding

Once you have made sure the person is breathing normally you should stop any severe bleeding. You can do this by raising the damaged body part, pressing hard on the injury and placing one or more compression bandages (tourniquets) on the injury. If you do not have access to a first aid kit you can use a sweater or the like as a provisional pressure bandage, and tighten it with another piece of clothing or a belt.

Never put pressure bandages on the neck or chest as it may worsen blood circulation and make breathing difficult. Instead, press the bandage lightly against the wound.

Circulatory shock

A person who has been severely injured and lost a lot of blood may suffer from a life-threatening condition called circulatory shock. Circulatory shock means that blood circulation is so poor that it can lead to oxygen deficiency and cell damage.

A person with circulatory shock has a rapid pulse, greyish and clammy skin and is cold, thirsty, worried and restless. Make sure that the person is warm, does not bleed and can breathe unrestricted. Treat the person calmly and gently as stress can worsen the condition. Do not give the person any form of food or drink as it may end up blocking the airways if the person vomits or faints.


Never give any form of food or drink to a person with circulatory shock, as this may cause the person to suffocate

Moving a vehicle or injured person

After a traffic accident, you should not normally move any vehicles if someone has been injured or died in the accident, as it can make an investigation of the accident more difficult.

However, if there are vehicles on the road that pose a danger or an obstacle to traffic, they should, if possible, be moved to a safer place – even if severely injured persons are inside.

Normally, you should not move injured persons either. But if a person is at risk of being run over or being exposed to fire, or if it is required for you to be able to perform first aid, you should move the person.


An injured person who is at risk of being run over is in a life-threatening situation and must be moved to a safer place

In case of a tunnel accident

Accidents in tunnels are relatively rare, but are associated with special risks and, in difficult circumstances, can have very serious consequences. Because of tunnels' poor ventilation, fire and smoke become even more dangerous in a tunnel than on an open road.

In case of fire or smoke development in a tunnel, immediately leave your car unlocked with the key in the ignition (so that emergency personnel can move the car) and follow the signposted escape route.

Do not try to save your car or property in it – fire and smoke can be fatal and may kill quickly.


In case of fire or smoke development in a tunnel, immediately leave your car unlocked with the key in the ignition

If your car breaks down or if you are involved in a less serious accident in a tunnel, try to stop at the roadside or in an emergency parking area and turn off the engine. Then turn on the hazard warning lights. Stay in the car or close to the car so that you are protected from traffic.

If you do not have any reception on your phone, you can call for help via an assistance button or emergency telephone along the tunnel wall.

When entering a tunnel, you should:

In case of a wildlife accident

The first thing you should do after colliding with a larger animal (if no person has been seriously injured) is to warn other road users by turning on the hazard warning lights and putting out a warning triangle at a suitable distance from the car.

If someone has been seriously injured in the accident and needs emergency care you should help that person first, before doing anything else.

If you collide with any of the following animals you must contact the police and mark the location of the accident:

Exception: If you collide with a bear, wolf, wild boar or lynx, you should not exit the car at the scene of the accident. If the car can be driven, you should mark the location approximately 100 metres from the scene of the accident. Inform the police about this when you report the accident.

If you collide with a domestic animal (for example a cow, reindeer or dog), you should first try to locate or contact the owner of the animal. If you cannot get a hold of the owner, you must report the accident to the police.


In the event of a wildlife accident you are usually obligated to contact the police and mark the location of the accident

If the animal you collided with has died and is on the road, you must, as long as it is safe to do so, try to move off it the road. Then mark the location as clearly as possible.

If the animal you collided with has been injured and has disappeared into the forest, you must mark the exact location where the animal disappeared. This makes it easier for hunters to track the injured animal.

Failing to mark the location of a wildlife accident is a criminal offence.


In the event of a collision with a domestic animal, you should first try to locate or contact the owner

In case of an accident involving dangerous goods

If you arrive at the scene of an accident where a truck carrying dangerous goods has overturned or been damaged you must not approach the truck. In case of a leak there is a risk of fire, poisoning and explosion.

Stay at a safe distance and call 112. If you can see which number combinations or symbols are on the dangerous goods signs – without going too close to the truck – you should inform the SOS operator about these when you call.

If a truck carrying dangerous goods is leaking or is on fire you should move to a safe distance, at least 300 metres away from the truck.


The orange sign with black borders shows that the truck is carrying dangerous goods, the symbol on the red rhombus-shaped sign shows that the dangerous goods are flammable gas

The sign indicating that a vehicle is carrying dangerous goods is orange with a black border. The sign can either be numbered or unnumbered.


Dangerous goods

In addition, a vehicle carrying dangerous goods can also be equipped with rhombus-shaped signs with symbols that indicate the type of dangerous goods the vehicle carries.

In case of a parking accident

One of the most common types of accidents are parking accidents, which occur when a vehicle damages another vehicle during parking.


If you damage another vehicle and cannot make contact with the owner, you must contact the police instead

If you hit and damage a vehicle (or other property) you must immediately try to contact the owner. If you cannot make contact with the owner, you must immediately contact the police. Failing to contact the owner and the police is a criminal offence which can lead to fines and a revoked driver's licence.