Post-accident or tertiary safety refers to all the measures taken and the resources mobilized following an accident in order to assist and care for the injured. It involves a variety of fields, expert skills and professions including:
- research and accidentology to identify the different types of injuries and damage sustained in the accident as well as provide a medical response and increasingly effective and appropriate care;
- technological developments to equip vehicles and highway infrastructures with automatic warning and locator systems, give access to victims’ medical records as well as exact details of the accident;
- organizing the logistics to reach the scene of the accident as quickly as possible, coordinate the various services involved (rescue services, paramedics, fire brigade, accident and emergency practitioners, doctors, hospital staff, car breakdown companies etc.), rapidly deploy the full gamut of rescue and care operations;
- training and awareness raising, for example teaching life-saving and damage control procedures in the event of an accident.
In this chain of operations, in which every minute counts, advancement and success are highly dependent on three major factors:
- the ability to secure the area and prevent accident escalation (chain collisions, pile-ups triggered by the first accident).
- new technological innovations, advanced communication systems such as in-vehicle emergency call systems.
- seamless cooperation and coordination between the various services involved.