Understanding the Bystander Effect

What happens after a road accident takes place? What’s the next most important step? Pedestrians and bystanders at the scene of an accident should move over and help the victims, right?. However, more often than not, bystanders don’t assist the victims. Instead, they either ignore and walk away, record the event on their phones, or simply stand by and watch what happens next. We call this the Bystander Effect.

During an emergency, bystanders frequently experience this phenomenon because emergencies are uncommon, unpredictable, and require immediate action that varies from situation to situation. Additionally, the fear of causing further harm while trying to assist the patient, and the potential for punishment or being held responsible if the help fails, contribute to this effect.

So, how do we tackle the Bystander Effect?

Here are a few tips to overcome this condition:

  1. Put yourself in the victim’s shoes. Imagine if it were your brother, sister, or loved one lying there. This helps overcome the shock and prompts you to act quickly.
  2. Use your voice. Call out loudly, saying things like, “This person needs help!” This can break the shock and effects of being a bystander in a crowd, mobilizing others to provide assistance.
  3. Give specific commands. Call out to individuals in the vicinity until someone responds. For example, say, “The man in the blue shirt, please call an ambulance service,” or “The person with the yellow jeans, please help direct incoming vehicles away from this area. Does anyone here know first aid?” This approach helps others break out of their bystander state.
  4. Overcome the fear of causing harm. Many people hesitate to act because they fear further injuring the victim. However, in reality, without bystander assistance, accident victims often have a significantly lower chance of survival.

By learning to recognize and counteract the bystander effect within ourselves, we can react swiftly and potentially save a life. Always remember that any assistance you can provide, no matter how small, has the potential to save lives. So incase of a medical emergency, please move over to help the victims. Start by calling The Ambulance Company so as to dispatch an emergency response team to the location asap! then also give you instructions on what to do whilst the team is on the way. Collectively we all get to save a live!

Please share this article with your friends and family on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even on Whatsapp so as to help shift the mindset of people to always help out. To read more of our emergency preparedness and firataid care tips Click here.