Crash Scene Field Reference

Written by Rich Morin.

Contents: (hide) (show)

Path:  AreasContentOverviews

Precis:  field reference for motorcycle crash scenes

See Also:  Motorcycle Resources

After carefully reading this reference (twice is good!), print out a copy, fold it up, and carry it with you on rides. Even better, print extra copies and give them out to your fellow riders.

Your challenge is to make the scene safe, collect and report information to 911, and attempt to help the victims. There will be a lot to do; enlist drivers and riders to help! Here goes…

Make the scene safe

Report Information

Gather and record pertinent information. Report urgent information at once to 911. If need be, send drivers and/or riders out (in multiple directions) with critical information.

Report pertinent information to first responders as they arrive. Paramedics just need a quick medical summary; police may want more details.

Render First Aid

Who has recent first aid training? Use them for this part! Your tasks are to: immobilize the patient, protect airway / breathing, stop any major bleeding, expose the injury to view, and monitor the patient for shock.

Flipping over the patient: This takes three people. One person, kneeling just past the head, supports the head and neck, while keeping thm aligned with the body. The other two people kneel by the patient’s side: one grasps the upper arm and hip; one grasps the leg and knee. On the count of three, flip the patient over.

Removing the patient’s helmet: This takes two people. One person supports the neck; the other spreads the helmet opening, tilts (rotates) the helmet back and slides it off, while supporting the patient’s head.

Stop Major Bleeding

Losing more than two pints of blood can result in shock. Arterial blood flows faster and is harder to stop. Here are some things to try, in rough order by difficulty:

Prevent Shock


If you have any allergies or other medical conditions, be sure to carry a medical ID card in your wallet. Here are some supplies you should consider keeping on your bike, if you can spare the room:


Paul Willett is a highly experienced first responder (Fire Fighter, Paramedic, Search and Rescue) and motorcyclist who has been at the scene of many accidents. The following material is based on Paul’s “Crash Scene - Life and Death Workshop” sessions, given at Doc Wong’s Street Riding Clinics. This page was last edited by Rich Morin ( on November 3, 2019.