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Centre for Road Safety

What to do

  • Stop immediately. If possible, ensure you are in a safe position away from traffic
  • Dial Triple Zero (000) for police or emergency services if:
    • Anyone is injured or trapped
    • Police are needed to direct traffic or deal with hazards
    • Any drivers appear affected by alcohol or other drugs
    • A bus or truck needs to be towed away
    • Anyone involved in the crash fails to exchange details
  • From some digital mobile phones you may need to dial 112, while people with hearing or speech impairment should dial 106 to connect to a text-based relay service
  • Use headlights, indicator lights or hazard lights to warn other drivers, and to light up the scene if it is dark
  • If possible send someone to warn oncoming drivers
  • If it is safe to do do, clear the road of broken glass and debris

Check if anyone is injured

  • Check for unconscious people
  • Don't move anyone unless they are in immediate danger or require first-aid
  • Support broken limbs and if someone has to be moved, be careful not to twist their neck or back
  • Lift the visor of a helmet wearer, but do not remove the helmet unless the person is vomiting or has stopped breathing
  • When removing a helmet, have one person support the head and neck while another gently lifts the helmet off from the back

Make the crash scene as safe as possible

For your own safety and that of others, beware of vehicles still using the road.

  • Position other people around the accident to keep traffic away
  • Use headlights, indicator lights and hazard lights to warn other drivers (especially at night)
  • Keep well clear if power lines are down and touching the damaged vehicles, or flammable goods are involved
  • Ensure the motors of the vehicles involved are switched off
  • Do not allow smoking at the scene of the accident

Send for help

Someone should call, drive or use a CB radio to get help. All emergency services can be contacted by dialling Triple Zero (000). On some mobiles you may need to dial 112, while people with hearing or speech impairment should dial 106 to connect to a text-based relay service.

When making the call, details should include:

  • Location of the accident
  • Number injured and nature of injury
  • Number trapped
  • Whether emergency vehicles will be required at the scene
  • Whether power lines are down or flammable goods are involved

Help the injured

The St John Ambulance DRSABCD action plan helps effectively manage casualties at accident scenes.

D: Danger

Check the area is safe for you, others and the injured person.

R: Response

Check the injured person for a response. Squeeze their shoulders and ask their name.

S: Send for help

Call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance or ask another person to call.

A: Airway

Open mouth – if foreign material is present, place in the recovery position and clear airway with fingers. When rolling onto their side, be aware that their neck may be injured and needs to be stabilised while they are rolled.

B: Breathing

Check for breathing – look, listen and feel.


Start CPR at the rate of 30 chest compressions to two breaths. Continue CPR until help arrives or patient recovers.

D: Defibrillation

Apply defibrillator if available and follow voice prompts


Stop any bleeding by applying direct pressure with bandages or clothing. If possible, elevate the bleeding part above the level of the chest. Keep the injured person as still as possible by packing clothing and equipment around them to prevent movement to the spine and any broken bones.

More information

The NSW Police Force website answers common questions for motorists and other people involved in crashes in NSW.