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Post-Crash Care

Enhance the survivability of crashes through expedient access to emergency medical care, while creating a safe working environment for vital first responders and preventing secondary crashes through robust traffic incident management practices.

Our ability to save lives does not end when a crash occurs. Caring for people injured in a crash to prevent their injuries from becoming fatal is just as critical. The timing of the arrival of ambulances and emergency responders is a major factor in whether an injured person survives a crash, and crash location is a major determinant of response time.  


Access to emergency and trauma care is critical to the survivability of crashes.

Post Crash Casre Infographic

Sources: (1) National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. A National Trauma Care System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths After Injury. (2) NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). (3) NHTSA National Automotive Sampling System-Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS). It is not known the percentage who were later transferred to a level I or II trauma center. (4) Mackenzie et al, 2006. This study compared level I trauma centers to non-trauma centers.


Through the NRSS, the Department is committed to supporting activities that improve post-crash care. Managing the scene of a crash and providing a safe environment for first responders and passing travelers are also critical elements of delivering effective post-crash care.

Key Departmental Actions to Enable Safer Post-Crash Care

  1. Develop and implement an outreach plan for EMS personnel for on-scene safety and traffic incident training.
  2. Advance Traffic Incident Management training and technologies targeted at improved responder and motorist safety.
  3. Expand the use of and support for the National Emergency Medical Services Information System — the national database that is used to store EMS data from the U.S. States and Territories — by funding applied research and data quality improvements.
  4. Improve the delivery of EMS throughout the nation in collaboration with the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services and the National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council by focusing on shortening ambulance on-scene response times.
Last updated: Thursday, January 27, 2022