Motorcycle CRASH Card Scheme launched in Wales

12.00 | 11 March 2013 | | 9 comments

Motorcyclists in Wales are being encouraged to carry free CRASH cards which contain potentially life-saving information in the event of an incident.

Launched by Road Safety Wales, the CRASH cards are being made available from motorcycle dealers and road safety teams throughout Wales.

The cards contain space to record information which could be vital to paramedics – including medical history and details of any medication currently being taken. There is also space to list the name and contact number of a next of kin.

The cards were created by the national Ambulance Motorcycle Club (AMC), and are already used in a number of areas in England, Northern Ireland and parts of Wales.

Road safety teams have been working in partnership with other road safety professionals who make up Road Safety Wales, and the scheme has the backing of the Wales NHS Ambulance Trust. It is hoped that eventually the cards will be available throughout the Principality.

Dr Paul Hughes, Welsh Ambulance Service medical director, said: “The CRASH cards will provide our staff with vital clinical information to improve the care we can provide for motorcyclists across Wales. It’s important to remember that removing a motorcyclist’s helmet after an accident is a specialist task which should only be performed by ambulance crews or other trained personnel.

“Such a simple thing as carrying the CRASH card could well enable us as a service to make more informed decisions regarding the treatment needed to a motorcycle collision or incident.”

Susan Storch, chair of Road Safety Wales, said: “Road Safety Wales is pleased to be involved in the CRASH Card scheme, and we look forward to the day when all motorcyclists in Wales will carry one of the cards in their helmet.

“Doing something as easy as picking up a card and filling it out could make a real difference to a casualty, and we hope that this is a scheme that will be embraced wholeheartedly by the motorcycling community.”

For more information contact Micelle Harrington, secretary of Road Safety Wales, on 02920 250 600.


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    In 2006, my company Fused Ltd created a film called Great Roads Great Rides on behalf of the Highways Agency. In it, theres a section called Crash Scene Management. Last month we launched a web-based platform called REALRIDER, a social network dedicated to the biking community and a haven for content from manufacturers and partners alike.

    After 18 months of development and a partnership with the North East Ambulance Service, we finally launched the REALRIDER app last week for iPhone (Android to follow).

    Why is this relevant to this story you ask?

    Understanding that a paramedic needs to know the location, mobile number and medical information of a crashed bike spurned us to develop a new way of using Smartphone technology with real-time reporting. The aim, to increase the likelihood of crashed riders being found quickly and delivering more accurate medical attention to the paramedic BEFORE attending.

    The REALRIDER app complements the Crash Card scheme – it’s the digital equivalent. In tests, it has delivered the location, phone number and medical information of a crashed rider within 10 seconds of activation. What’s more, the NEAS Control Room Team then calls the rider as part of the post-crash sequence – in tests this was 17 seconds later. If the rider cannot respond, the Team has to assume that the rider is unconscious and unable to respond. The appropriate response mechanism is then put in place, no matter where in Great Britain the crash has occurred.

    Currently at the Manchester Bike Show
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I feel that for the record and in all honesty I now have to put the following forward.

    I am not against the crash card, I never have been against crash cards or any other initiative that would benefit motorcyclists. I have one now that its on a green keyring as opposed to inside my helmet. It initially required a little green sticker to be placed at a certain point on one’s helmet and sometimes this could unfortunately be missing or damaged following an accident involving damage to said helmet. The green coloured key fob (denoting medical) is in my view an easier and simpler option.

    Trevor and I have had communication in the past over this issue and still agree to differ. It’s from a comment I picked up on the Right to Ride website in which it was stated that he would not initially treat an injured motorcyclist who had displayed a DO NOT REMOVE warning on the helmet, preferring to treat any other casualty instead that didnt display such a warning.

    The grounds for this, as I understand it, is being trained the first aider is covered by third party insurance and even though trained by St.John Ambulance Association there would be a question of liability should the notice not be rigidly adheared to whereas with a none displayer there is no such problem.

    It therefore seems sensible to me to adhere to a negative approach when it comes to the wearing of a DO NOT REMOVE STICKER unless it includes other considerations or qualifications on said sticker.

    bob Craven Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I just wanted to pick up on a couple of points that have been raised, but firstly its brilliant that motorcyclists across Wales are being given the chance to collect a CRASH Card for free. CRASH card is a great way of interacting with riders, it provides a conversation starter which allows the often taboo subjects of clothing and training to be discussed freely.

    I have first hand experience of a rider who I attended at an RTC. The rider had upgraded his clothing and boots following such a discussion and was uninjured after sliding several hundred feet down a country lane and then through a bush and into a field. He proudly showed me his card and praised the policeman who had given it to him for “making him spend the best £600 of his life” (on kit and clothing). His injuries would have been life threatening wihtout the kit, as he previously was riding in cammo jeans and a hoodie. CRASH Card helped to reduce the cost of such casualties in Essex and East London by over £6M in its first 18 months.

    So “are Jo public” going to start pulling off hats left right and centre? Well in Essex prior to the programme starting there were four instances of “inappropriate helmet removal” a year. Since CRASH Card started ther have been none. We are constantly putting out the message that if your not trained don’t do it! There is no info for the lay person of any use. The cards come out so if you want to swap lids or leave yours on the kerb for a bit it can be removed, unlike a sticker. The mnemonic CRASH is important in getting the right resource to you at the right time, critical information is needed belive it or not location is key! You use your own card, not someone else’s, most riders stop to help a fellow biker, we have seen bikers getting theri own cards out to get the info to hand first before calling 999, it works well. To date there are over 750,000 CRASH Cards or Rider Alert Cards in use globally – the information CRASH carries has helped to save lives. The information on the card is all that is needed pre hospital. It’s not a lot but its all we need. Blood groups are going to be matched in hospital, hems carry O neg ( universal blood) but there isn’t a doctor anywhere that will give blood on the strength of a medic alert. The wrong type will kill you.

    So in summary CRASH works, there are over 30,000 on the Isle of Man, the information is where it needs to be in a safe place where the paramedic has to look… and not go looking for!

    Well done everyone, keep up the great work! And ride safe (ps. helmet removal course and first aid for motorcyclists can be found at the Motorcycle Immediate Care Course)

    Ian Burrell Paramedic
    General Secretary Ambulance Motorcycle Club

    Ian Burrell
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Having promoted and put our version of CRASH card into Northern Ireland and having had a previous conversation with Bob Craven on the issue of helmet removal, then reading Pete Warriner comments, “Do not remove my helmet unless you have been trained to do ss”, is there a discussion that all vehicle drivers should have compulsory First Aid as part of their driving test and refresher courses?

    Or you could for your own benefit and others take a First Aid Course designed for motorcyclists. Funny enough in Northern Ireland this weekend I have one space left at

    Trevor Baird Northern Ireland
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I can’t disagree with that, though the information is somewhat limited and some may wish to add further written material. Has anyone ever tried to get their blood group from the doctor? Haven’t got mine yet!

    There are also key rings that can carry the same card, thus removal of a helmet is not required. That is also a good idea.

    My comments about non-removal of helmet are a seperate issue from this matter and I would not recommend the inclusion of a “DO NOT REMOVE” policy in general.

    bob craven Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Both Pete and Bob make valid points but it comes down to personal choice. The Crash Card is there to give vital information to the attending Paramedic. You fill in as much of the card as is needed for your own circumstances and what you would want to be known about your health. It’s a form of insurance that we hope is never needed but could be vital for some riders/pillions. The advantage is that it is easily seen and recognised by Paramedics, not hidden away beneath layers of clothing.

    It’s a good, cost free system that is nationally recognised and initiated by biker ambulance personnel for bikers.

    If the people who look after us when we’re hurt think it’s a good idea it’s got to be worth considering.

    Mike RSO Leicestershire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    The problem with what you have on your helmet Pete is that should another motorcyclist be also injured and both helmeted and not moving, they would receive assistance and you would be left alone. If not breathing it’s a case of deal with the one who doesn’t mind the helmet being removed. If the only thing that will save your life is removal of the helmet I am sure you would want it removed.

    I would like to know how many do die due to asphyxiation as opposed to those who actually have a broken neck. One will definitely die if not breathing but one can live with a broken bone, or worse a fractured spine.

    bob craven Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I don’t support the Crash Card scheme for the following reasons:- A helmet should only be removed from a casualty by someone who is trained to do so. Once ‘Joe Public’ learns there is a card inside the helmet they might be tempted, upon arriving at the scene of an incident, to access the card to pass the information when making the 999 call. Also, from a security point of view, many motorcyclists place their helmet on their bike while they have a comfort break. Once the criminal fraternity become aware that information they could use illegally is contained within the helmet then it won’t take long to access the information and pass it on to someone in the area of the owners home to burgle their house or make plans to try to steal the bike at a later date. I use the SOS Talisman round my neck to provide the information that the Crash Card system can provide. I am aware of a modern type of talisman (which I have no connection with) the ‘MEKEY ICE’ see I have stickers on my helmet stating ‘Do not remove my helmet unless you have been trained to do so’

    Pete Warriner, Douglas, Isle of Man
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Excellent, and recently we launched the “Crash Card” in Northern Ireland:

    Trevor Baird
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