What to do after a motorcycle accident

Being the first person to the scene of a motorcycle crash is a terrifying experience. Whether one of your buddies took a turn too quickly or a distracted driver swerved into a rider ahead of you on the road, you could quickly find someone else’s life in your hands.

What to do at the scene of a motorcycle crash

The aftermath of a crash is chaotic, and it can be hard to figure out what to do while you wait for first responders.

Road Guardians suggests using the acronyms “PACT” and “ABCSS of Trauma” to remember the accident scene management (ASM) steps you should take if you’re the first on the scene.


  • Prevent further injury: Look at your surroundings. Is there anything you could do to prevent another crash or additional injuries as motorists approach the area? Take any necessary traffic control measures as quickly as possible. Never move the victim unless they’re in immediate danger – for example, if their bike is on top of them or on fire.
  • Assess the situation: Where are you? How did the crash happen? How many people are involved? How severe do their injuries appear to be? Sharing this info with the 911 operator helps them determine what kind of equipment and personnel are needed at the scene.
  • Call EMS: If possible, call 911 while you’re carrying out the first two steps to help speed up their response time and share any critical information before they send emergency personnel. If you can’t get service in the area, designate another bystander to find a signal and handle this step.
  • Treat the injured: Use the “ABCSS of Trauma” to prioritize the rider’s injuries as you care for them while waiting for first responders.

ABCSS of Trauma: Visit roadguardians.org to learn more about the type of care you should provide at each step below.

  • Airway
  • Breathing
  • Circulation
  • Shock
  • Spinal Immobilization

Riders who are interested in learning more about accident scene management can find a class in their area or register for an online course.

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