Should First Aid Be Part of Learning to Drive?

Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman

You know about checking your mirrors, signaling, turning, and merging, but do you know how to save a life? In many nations, CPR and first aid training are a mandatory part of learning to drive.

Many European nations require learner drivers to pass a first aid course before they can get a driver’s license.
Many European nations require learner drivers to pass a first aid course before they can get a driver’s license.

There's a very good reason why around half of European countries require people to demonstrate some knowledge of CPR and first aid before they can earn their driver's license. The World Health Organization reports that around half of fatalities occur in the first few minutes after a crash. Those minutes are absolutely crucial in potentially saving lives – emergency vehicles often arrive too late. Other drivers are usually the first on the scene following a collision, and having someone with CPR and first aid training can dramatically increase the chances of surviving a car accident.

How to save a life:

  • Germany requires all drivers to take a 45-minute CPR and first aid test as part of the theory test, while Switzerland mandates a 10-hour first aid course.

  • In Denmark, CPR and first aid have been part of the driving test since 2005. Danish elementary school children are also taught basic life-saving measures and community-based first aid courses are open for anyone to attend.

  • As a result, Denmark has seen the rates for patients arriving alive at the hospital after a sudden cardiac arrest increase from 8% to 22%.

Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman is a teacher and blogger who frequently writes for wiseGEEK about topics related to personal finance, parenting, health, nutrition, and education.
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman is a teacher and blogger who frequently writes for wiseGEEK about topics related to personal finance, parenting, health, nutrition, and education.

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    • Many European nations require learner drivers to pass a first aid course before they can get a driver’s license.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      Many European nations require learner drivers to pass a first aid course before they can get a driver’s license.