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Learner Driver First Aid: Would You Know What to Do at a Crash Scene?

Each year in Victoria, around 250 are killed, and a further 8,000 are seriously injured by road accidents. These numbers can be drastically reduced if more bystanders knew what to do at the site of a crash. After a traffic accident, the first 3 to 5 minutes are critical for life-preserving actions. Bystander first aid can significantly reduce pre-hospital deaths if appropriate techniques are applied while waiting for emergency services to arrive at the scene.

For example, it takes just 4 minutes to die from a blocked airway (hypoxia) — the single cause of an estimated 85% of pre-hospital traffic deaths. Even in the shortest ambulance response time, without immediate first aid, a person with a blocked airway won’t survive. A simple action, such as lifting an unconscious person’s chin to unblock their airway, could save their life.

Another common pre-hospital cause of death is severe bleeding, which accounts for 30% of vehicle accident pre-hospital deaths. Knowing how to control severe bleeding can help save a life.

Basic training can save lives

On 30 November 2022, St John Ambulance Australia will launch the Learner Driver First Aid Awareness tool, a 30-minute e-learning program for learner drivers. It aims to help the next generation of drivers learn the skills needed to save or prolong a life until paramedics arrive, in the event of an accident.

The Learner Driver First Aid tool is an evidence-based approach to post-crash management that will equip an entire generation of bystanders with the skills and knowledge necessary for reducing road deaths and injuries.


Equip yourself with the lifesaving skills and knowledge necessary for staying safe on the road.

The launch event

The Learner Driver First Aid Awareness Launch will be held at Parliament House, Canberra, where – along with Road Safety advocates and St John Ambulance staff and volunteers – the Governor-General, the Honourable David Hurley, is set to be accompanied by Ged Kearney MP, Catherine King MP, and Dr Andrew Leigh MP.

Most notably, attending the launch is Val Dempsey, a lifelong St John volunteer whose tireless commitment to promoting training includes learner driver first aid. The 2022 Senior Australian of the Year uses her platform to advocate this simple solution that can save more lives – a mission stemming from a personal experience. Her family was forever changed decades ago when bystanders came to help at the scene of her daughter’s car accident but didn’t have the lifesaving first aid skills needed. A life was tragically lost.

Equipping the future generation

The introduction of the Learner Driver First Aid Awareness tool comes as a timely addition to St John’s scope of lifesaving training, joining the newly launched Party Ready program. The school program equips Year 9 and 10 students with the tools and knowledge to help someone that is injured, unwell, or in distress at parties and social gatherings.

The launch of the Learner Driver First Aid Awareness tool complements our newly introduced Party Ready program. We’re confident that both programs, in tandem, will help young people save lives if ever they find themselves in a critical situation.
St John Ambulance Victoria CEO, Gordon Botwright

Driver First Aid

Register now to access the free e-learning tool!

Party Ready

Help young people be confident in supporting their mates in distress or in an emergency.

Car Safety First Aid Kit

In an accident, you only have minutes to act. This kit has first aid equipment to treat injuries common to motor vehicles, and useful safety items to ensure you are safe on the road.