ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

The characteristics of fatal crashes in South Australia involving a delay in notifying Emergency Medical Services

Ponte, G, Anderson, R W G, Ryan, G A (Peer reviewed)

Emergency Services & Road Safety


This study examined the 191 fatal crashes and 218 fatalities occurring in South Australia in the period 2008-2009. A sub-set of these fatal crashes was identified where there was a delay between the time of the crash and the time Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were notified and subsequently dispatched to render medical assistance. It was found that 21.5% (N=41) of fatal crashes had an EMS notification delay exceeding 10 minutes; this accounted for 23.4% of fatalities (N=51). These fatal crashes were examined in more detail including injuries detailed by the forensic pathologist in available coroner reports. It was found that most of the crash notification delays occurred in rural areas and that 2.2% of all fatalities might have been avoided if earlier crash notification to emergency medical services had occurred. This paper will report on the characteristics of these fatal crashes, a mechanism by which crash notification delays might be reduced and factors that might affect successful reduction in delays