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Transport Accidents

Major air, rail, road and maritime accidents are similar in that they generally involve fast moving vehicles carrying many people or large quantities of goods and substances that can cause direct or indirect damage to people and the environment.

Aircraft accidents can be of natural, technical or human origin (fault/failure, negligence, etc.).

Rail accidents occur when trains travelling on the same tracks collide or when a train derails because of a technical fault in the rolling stock, landslides and avalanches or, because of human malevolence.

Road accidents are without doubt the most frequent major accidents, and overall, causes the most damage.

Maritime disasters have greatly diminished thanks to improved ships and navigation systems. However, maritime transport can be the source of large ecological disasters, especially when oil tankers are shipwrecked or containers of dangerous products are lost overboard.


  • Find out about the potential dangers involved in using different forms of transport
  • Study the behavioural rules (posters, written instructions, or safety demonstrations) that are usually published by transport companies or given by the crew
  • In case of an imminent danger make sure that you know the whereabouts of protection and safety equipment
  • Keep a flashlight, blanket, first aid kit and road maps of your region in your car

If you are a victim of an accident

  • Keep calm and avoid panic. As far as possible help your family members and other victims in difficulty
  • Follow the orders of the captain, crew or bus driver
  • As soon as the crash or shipwreck occurs try to free yourself from the cabin and escape quickly from the wreckage,
  • especially if there is a risk of fire or dangerous leaks. Take refuge at a safe distance
  • If possible start the rescue process by alerting the security services

If you witness an accident

  • If it is a road accident, signal and mark it: hazard lights, accident triangle, people present before and after at the site of theaccident
  • Alert the rescue services (fire, police, EMS, etc.) and give them the precise location and nature of the accident, the approximate number of victims and the type of material damage that has occurred. The location of a rail accident can be established from the inscriptions on the railway pylons
  • Do not intervene, if the rescue services are already on the scene. In this case move away from the site of the accident
  • Do not touch the wounded, unless there is a fire in case of vehicle carrying hazardous material
  • Do not smoke
  • If dangerous substances are transported, keep at a distance


  • Keep calm and avoid panic
  • Follow the instructions of the rescue services
  • If need be, collaborate with the rescue teams and those leading the investigation


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