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Examining EMS response times to car accidents

Those in Monmouth with a fear of flying have probably been told many times that one is much more likely to die in a car accident than in a plane crash. While most likely accept that logic, few may truly understand how true it really is. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 10.8 million auto accidents in the U.S. in 1990. From those accidents, over 69,000 people were killed. Averaged out over a 100,000 resident population, that equates to a fatality rate of 11 percent.

It might go without saying that in order to keep a collision from turning into a fatal car accident, those involved need access to immediate medical attention. Information gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and shared by the Motor Vehicle Fire Research Institute shows that, on average, EMS personnel are able to arrive within ten minutes of notification in almost 94 percent of urban accidents and 82 percent of crashes in rural areas. Information shared in the same study from a 1999 publication of AirMed revealed fatal accident notification times from accident victims or witnesses to first responders to average just over 5 minutes.

In those crashes where only moderate vehicle damage occurs or where victims may not feel as though their injuries are life threatening, their immediate concern may be to talk with any other drivers involved to exchange insurance information. However, internal or even seemingly minor injuries can quickly worsen into life-threatening emergencies. If one is uncertain about the extent of his or her injuries, it may be best to wait the few minutes it’s proven to take medical personnel to arrive. There will typically always be time to handle potential liability issues once one has been examined by EMS. 

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