If you are a driver involved in a crash, what is the FIRST action you should take? If you are a driver involved in a crash, what is the FIRST action you should take?

  • A. Call the police

  • B. Stop and check to see if anyone is hurt

  • C. Call for an ambulance

  • D. Leave the scene to tell someone

  • E. Call a family member or friend

    The correct answer is B
    Checking for injuries is important as it will allow you to seek medical help quickly if required.

First actions after a car crash

If you are involved in a crash and not badly hurt, the first thing to do is check for other people's injuries. Then see if your vehicle can be moved out of danger once you have checked on other vehicle occupants and called emergency services.

Emergency services will need information such as the number of injured people, the type of injuries, whether an ambulance, fire engine or both are required, and your location. You can use a vehicle GPS or smartphone-based GPS to give fairly accurate coordinates. If neither of these are working and you don't know where you are, try to describe your surroundings, giving significant landmarks and features of the surrounding area. For example, "I'm in Mt Albert, I don't know what street, but I'm outside the dairy near the railway lines."

Help move uninjured and lightly injured people away from the scene. Don't move anyone who is trapped unless they need life-saving intervention such as CPR or to stop severe bleeding. You shouldn't move a motorcyclist's helmet unless the rider is vomiting.

If you have a warning triangle place it 200m up the road to alert road users. 

Giving information

If someone was hurt in the accident you must tell police within 24 hours.

If no one is hurt then you must provide your name, address and vehicle registration, plus the name and address of the owner of the vehicle you are driving if it's not you, to the owner or driver of any vehicle damaged and the owner of any property that was damaged within 48 hours.

If you can't find these people, you must tell a police officer within 60 hours.

There is more information in our guide to dealing with vehicle accidents.

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