What to do at a road crash

What to do when you're involved in a crash on NSW roads. Information on exchanging details, towing and when to call emergency services.

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Stop after a crash

If you’re involved in a crash, you must always stop and give as much help as possible. You must provide your details to the other people involved or to police.

If you’re involved in a crash that causes death or injury and you do not stop and help, you can get a fine and be sent to prison.

Safe driving reduces your chances of being involved in a crash. See safe driving and safe stopping distance.

What to do if you have a crash

  • Turn off your ignition to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Turn on your hazard lights.
  • If safe to do so, check whether there’s anything on the road from the crash that could be dangerous or cause another crash, such as debris or broken glass. Move it off the road if it’s safe to do so.

If you’re involved in a crash with a truck carrying a dangerous load:

  • Call the police or fire brigade on triple zero (000).
  • Warn people away from the crash.
  • Avoid touching spilled chemicals or breathing the fumes or dust.
  • Look for an Emergency Procedures Guide attached to the truck driver’s door. Follow these procedures, if it’s safe to do so.

Exchanging details

If you’re involved in a crash you must give the other person or people involved:

  • your name and address
  • your vehicle registration number
  • the name and address of the owner of the vehicle, if you’re not the owner.

Should I call an ambulance and police?

If anyone is injured or killed in a crash, call an ambulance and then the police on triple zero (000).

The police attend and investigate crashes when:

  • a person is trapped, killed or injured
  • any driver is believed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • a person fails to stop or exchange information
  • they need to direct traffic or deal with hazards
  • a bus or truck needs to be towed away.

You must always give police at a crash scene:

  • your driver licence
  • details of the crash and vehicles involved
  • your name and address
  • information about any witnesses and other drivers involved.

When not to call the police

You do not need to call the police to attend a crash when:

  • there are no injuries
  • vehicles do not need to be towed.

If someone involved in the crash is later treated for an injury, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

If police do not attend the crash scene, you must report the crash as soon as possible (within 24 hours) if:

  • a vehicle is towed away
  • property is damaged or animals are injured
  • you’re unable to provide your details to the other driver.

Report the crash to the nearest police station or the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

Calling for a tow truck

If your vehicle needs to be towed after a crash, you have the right to decide:

  • who will tow your vehicle
  • where your vehicle will be towed to.

To be authorised, NSW tow trucks attending an accident scene must:

  • have a number plate with four numbers and ending in ‘TT’
  • be driven by a driver with a valid driver certificate.
Example of authorised tow truck number plate
Example of authorised tow truck number plate

Do not use a tow truck that does not meet these requirements. It’s your responsibility to check the tow truck is authorised.

Before a tow truck tows your vehicle, you (as the owner and/or driver) must sign a Towing Authorisation Form. This gives the tow truck driver permission to tow your vehicle.

You have the right to:

  • contact someone before you sign the Towing Authorisation Form for assistance – for example, a mechanic, so you know where to tow your vehicle
  • get a copy of the Towing Authorisation Form.

If you’re unable to organise a tow truck or sign the form, a police officer or authorised officer can organise a tow truck for you.

If you have comprehensive car insurance, the towing fee may be covered. Check with your insurer.

First aid courses

First aid is a skill that everyone should learn. For details on first aid courses contact:

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