Driver First Assist: First aid intervention and legal liability

November 2013 saw six cyclists tragically die in London over the space of 14 days. Cycle and road safety are increasingly prominent in the public consciousness. However, the question of preventing fatalities is not a simple one and whilst accident prevention is seen as a priority, the possibility of incidents cannot be ruled out. For that reason it is important that the response to road traffic accidents is also kept in mind so that lives can be saved if an accident occurs.

Approximately 55% of deaths from road traffic collisions occur before the emergency services arrive on scene. 46% of fatalities could be prevented if first aid was available at an early stage. Therefore, having someone trained in basic first aid can mean the difference between life and death.

Driver First Assist (DFA) has been launched with the vision that in the unfortunate event of a road traffic collision there are individuals trained in first aid and accident management on the scene. DFA is targeted at training professional drivers, including HGV drivers, as well as those who drive routinely as part of their job. As well as understanding life-saving first aid, DFA-trained drivers will understand how to manage the scene of an accident before the emergency services arrive. DFA has the added benefit of being Driver CPC accredited.

Could there any liability if a DFA member intervened at a RTC scene?

There is no general legal duty for members of the public to assist in the aftermath of an incident. Similarly with DFA members, there would be no requirement or expectation that members intervene. However, one of the concerns about the scheme has been whether an individual may leave themselves open to potential civil or criminal liability by assisting at an accident scene. The risks of this have been assessed as minimal. However, to alleviate any concerns, once drivers have become DFA members, they will be provided with indemnity insurance, which would indemnify them in the very unlikely circumstance that a claim is made against them.

Contact us

As major supporters and sponsors of DFA, we at DWF are keen to spread the word. To find out how your business can become involved in this life-saving initiative; please contact

Vikki Woodfine, DWF’s Head of Road Haulage,  on 0161 838 0108 –

Matthew Yates, DWF’s Head of Transport,  on 0113 261 6047 –


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