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Accidents

Accidents at the Ring are frequent, so the chances are that any regular visitor is going to either witness one or come across one that's just happened.

The big danger with a crash on the Ring, given all the high-speed blind bends and crests, is that either the crashed vehicle itself or someone who has stopped to help will then be hit by someone else (see my write-up of trip 6 for a description of one such accident). Please read these brief notes to help avoid that.

First person on the scene

The first safety rule is don't stop unless you need to. The less chaos at the scene, the lower the chances of a follow-on crash. There are only two reasons to stop: to warn following traffic when a crash-scene isn't visible on approach, or to administer first-aid when someone is in urgent need.

If you need to stop, please do so with great care. Make sure you are past the accident and on the grass - never stop on the track itself unless totally unavoidable.

The first person to arrive should warn other traffic. Walk carefully back down the grass, making sure you are well clear of the track in case you cause another accident as people swerve to avoid you. Once in position, get behind the armco. Wave to traffic to slow it down (carrying a yellow flag or jacket is a good idea). Make sure you are well back from the accident, however: waving too vigorously too close to the crash could make matters worse by distracting drivers just when they need to be looking ahead.

Second person

The second person should call for help. The phone number of the office at the Start / Finish point is +49 2691 302215. (You'll need a mobile - the trackside huts are locked during public sessions.)

Most of the marshals speak little or no English, so some useful German phrases follow. All spelt as they sound, not as they are written, and you can click the links to hear them spoken:

  • Accident = Unfarl
  • Ambulance = Krankenvargen
  • Seriously hurt = Schver verletzt
  • Helicopter will be understood in English
  • Not hurt = Nicked verletzt

Third person

The third person to arrive goes to the aid of the casualty IF you can do so safely. If in doubt, get behind the armco and wait until the safety car arrives. Please don't risk being hit yourself.


Emergency numbers

  • Nurburgring office +49 2691 302215
    The first place to report accidents
  • Emergency services 112
    The track office will usually call
  • Adenau Hospital +49 2691 3030
    Gets most non-critical cases
  • Koblenz Kemperhof +49 261 499 2211
    Gets most critical cases
  • Koblenz Military Hospital +49 261 281 3069
    Gets most head injuries
  • Adenau Police +49 2691 19250
    Deals with investigations
  • Breakers yard +49 2692 1866
    Where crashed vehicles go

First aid training

You come round a bend to find a car on its roof, a bike in the armco, a driver bleeding badly and a motionless rider. Would you know what to do?

If the answer is 'no', please consider getting trained in first-aid. The scenario described is one you may very well face at the Ring. I've been one of the first at the scene of two bad crashes, so I can promise you that it's not a far-fetched possibility, it's actually fairly likely if you visit the Ring frequently.

A full first aid course usually lasts three or four days, or 10 evening sessions. I know that can sound like a significant chunk of time, but the skills you learn may save someone's life. And since most Ring visitors are there with friends and/or partners, the life you save may well be that of someone close to you.

As a minimum, get trained in CPR. You can learn these life-saving skills in two or three hours. Here's a short instructional video to get you started.



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