Wheel alignment

Wednesday 4 September 2019

With safety in mind

Got an email last week from a fellow Institute of Advanced Motorists member asking whether more information could be added to our plastic membership cards.  The reason for this was that he has a clear plastic pocket on his riding jacket and carries ICE (In Case of Emergency) information in it.  He thought that ICE info on a membership card would provide a useful backup.  There are also commercial adhesive pockets for helmets which display relevant info.

I'm embarrassed to confess that although I take my personal riding standard seriously and carry a medical kit at all times, I haven't really thought about prominently displaying ICE information.  Consequently, I was really interested in what a discussion among members would reveal.

Some debate followed among experienced members about the best way to display ICE info and the question was also posed to members of the emergency services.  General consensus was that information on clothing or a helmet whilst better than nothing, wasn't the favoured option.  This was because clothing can be damaged or cut off in an emergency and vital information missed.  The preference was for a dog tag, wristband or something similar.  Here are a couple of examples.

The dog tag is made in embossed aluminium with a plastic surround.  A good range of colour choices available for both the metal and surround. There is also a choice of chain lengths.  Price NZ$19 delivered for two.  I took delivery of mine today!

The flexible rubber wristband comes in a range of colours and fastenings and depending on source, cost is between NZ$20-40 delivered.  The ICE data in most cases seems to be on an adhesive label or Dymotape.  Still thinking about getting one of these.

Today, another IAM Facebook member (thanks Mike Sutton) mentioned a feature that's available on an Android phone which I didn't know existed!  To quote Mike:

"Android phones have a built-in SOS function. It's simple, quick and very effective. Press the on/off button three times and it texts whoever you select with your GPS co-ordinates, front camera pictures and/or a audio recording. Go to Settings>Advanced features>Send SOS messages and set up from there. Of course you need data, but texts only need a sniff of reception and they send."

You can select multiple recipients and the function is now set up on my Samsung S8.  I don't know whether this feature is available on an iPhone.

I mentioned that I carry a small medical kit and it's worth re-mentioning something I posted about 18 months or so ago.  I attended a motorcycle accident talk and demo by an ex-military advanced paramedic who was a keen rider. He talked about a product called Celox which is hemostatic, i.e. stops bleeding fast. Extensively used by the military in conflict situations, granules can be poured into an open wound or there's a range of dressings and pads which have been impregnated with the special granules and can stop bleeding from an open wound.

The medikit has been supplemented with Celox gauze pads which are easy to use and very effective.  It's the sort of item you hope never to use but in a situation where there is significant blood loss, it might just save someone's life.  Got it in the car too.  Here's the item we bought and Celox products are available pretty much everywhere in the world:

A lot of us ride in areas where there isn't much traffic, both on sealed roads and off them.  We also ride solo on many occasions.  I'm really pleased that conversations over the last week has prompted some positive action on my part to take further safety precautions.


  1. I generally carry a very basic first aid kit. I'm not trained so I'm not going to be too much use in some serious event but I guess no enough to at least attempt slowing blood loss etc.

    I'm lucky I've never come across anything too gruesome but I'm sure you remember that event on the GC - it freaked me out no end and I thought we were going to lose the chap.

    As for ICE, it's a cool idea and there are plenty of options out there. One neat one I saw was a USB device (any pen drive would do as long as it was made visible somehow) which could store volumes on your medical history/contacts. My phone is a work one and automatically locks so not the easiest for someone to go looking into my contacts. I've considered putting some details on the phone's "wallpaper" but then I'll see it all the time and not sure if I want that in my face so frequently.


    1. I'm the same as you Andrew but blood loss is something I can address with the kit I have now.

      Yes, I remember that accident vividly. Although I didn't see it happen, seeing him in the road with you guys attending shook us up too. I gather that he doesn't ride at all now.

      Thanks for the extra info on ICE - all good. It seems like simple visibility of information is the only thing that works if the person involved can't respond.

  2. Bloody brilliant, thanks Geoff! I have just set up the SOS message on my Samsung and will test it once the wife gets home(so I don't scare her to death).

    1. Thanks Dave. Isn't it nice to find something you never know existed and so valuable too. The other thing I have is tracking through Google maps so Jennie can stalk me on line if I'm on a long haul with real time location to her phone or laptop.

  3. On the iPhone, it’s press the power button 5x but the feature needs to be enabled within settings. One of the reasons I picked up an Apple Watch was fall detection and auto calling if you are unresponsive.

    1. Thanks for that Richard - more good learning. Had no idea an Apple watch would do that. Technology advancements for the genuine good of individuals - I heartily approve!

  4. Hi Geoff. Thanks for the tip on the SOS on the phone. I've set it up and tested it with my wife too.
    I recently attended a St John Ambulance Motorcyclists first aid course. Well worth it and we saw those hemostatic pads in use. I got a lot out of the taking someones helmet off after a crash, that was very good to now how to do.

    1. Hi Steve,
      It's great to find out about gems like that - a bit more peace of mind for all concerned. Yep, correct helmet removal is a great thing to learn. I like the feature on the GT Air where the lower pads can be pulled directly out to make removal easier.

  5. I didn't know about the cell phone emergency button. Thanks for sharing, Geoff.

    In my former job when working for a Kiwi manufacturer of gas equipment it was required to carry a dog tag as shown above when on site. We assumed it was in order to identify your body in case one of the facilities blew up ;-)

    I always carry a med kit when outdoors, you never know when it comes in handy. Also, I am a company first aider and therefore have to freshen up my first aid skill set every so often.

  6. Hi Sonja!

    You're welcome. You would think that such an important feature would be better publicised, wouldn't you? I would imagine that it would give Roland peace of mind when you head off on one of your back country hikes!

    Haha - multiple uses for dog tags! I wore mine yesterday, even though I was only away from home for an hour.

    We have med kits in both cars and I always have one on the bike too. Like Andrew, I don't have huge experience in first aid but I know the basics and my kit can take temporary care of common issues.


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