Could we cut road deaths by mandating First Aid training for all drivers?

A group of motoring experts have renewed calls for better awareness and training.

The call comes amid new research that found only 5% of the public would feel confident or willing to help someone with a medical issue.

Don’t know how

According to The Red Cross, just one in 20 adults in the UK know what to do in a first aid emergency.

This is despite the fact that it would increase the chances of survival after a road accident.

It has led to call on the government to make first aid training compulsory when getting a driver’s licence.

Research has also found that up to 59% of deaths from injury may have been prevented if first aid had been given before medical emergency services arrived.

At the same time, the most recent official data on road collisions in Great Britain estimates 29,795 people were killed or seriously injured in 2022. There were 1,711 road deaths that year.

So, if the research is correct, it could mean the saving of over 1000 deaths a year.

Don’t know when argues that First aid courses can help give people the skills and confidence to make a real difference.

Training would enable motorists to treat casualties with life-threatening injuries and improve their chances of survival when arriving at the scene of a serious crash.

If first aid training was made mandatory, drivers would be equipped with a wide range of knowledge. This extends from how to treat burns and wounds to giving CPR and shock, alleviating suffering from both minor and major injuries.

This could prove a huge help, especially when ambulance services are stretched and the time talen to attend incidents has increased.

Don’t know where

First aid training is already compulsory for motorists in other countries like Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia.

Many learner drivers in Europe also must show first-aid knowledge for their theory tests.

For instance, to get a driver’s licence in Switzerland, motorists must attend an obligatory 10-hour first aid course.

The course is split into different modules and is followed by a practical assessment and written test.

The Driving Licence (Mandatory First Aid Training) Bill was unveiled in the House of Commons in 2016. If enacted, it would require all driving licence applicants to have had first aid training before undertaking a practical driving test.

However, there has been no progress or updates since on this Bill since 2016.

“It is disappointing that nothing came from the Mandatory First Aid Training Bill seven years ago,” says Tim Alcock from

Alcock believes “over half of deaths from injury” on the roads could be prevented with the right training.

“That’s why we’re urging the government to seriously reconsider introducing first aid training for drivers to help anyone who experiences a road accident.”

Don’t drive without it

Alcock believes that First Aid training should be an essential part of the learning to drive process and being granted a driving licence.

“It is extremely concerning that just five per cent of the public would be willing to help someone bleeding heavily, unresponsive or not breathing.

“First aid can be crucial when responding to a car accident and the correct knowledge and skills can help save lives while waiting for ambulances.

“Whether the first aid training covers the basics or advanced emergencies, the skills learnt in courses can drastically improve the chance of survival.

“The UK should be following in the footsteps of other countries who have made first aid training mandatory to give the necessary help to drivers if they get into an accident.