It’s easy to become confused if you are involved in a traffic accident or just witness one, so keep this guide in your car’s glovebox (ideally with a pen) and use it so that you act safely and follow the correct procedures.
IT IS AN OFFENCE NOT TO STOP
Stop at the scene if you think your accident has caused injury or damage to vehicles or property.
ENSURE THE SCENE IS SAFE
Switch off all cars’ engines, turn on hazard warning lights and make sure oncoming traffic is aware of the accident.
DIAL 999 (OR 112 FROM A MOBILE)
If anyone is injured, the collision has caused a hazardous situation, or someone leaves the scene without exchanging details.
Don’t admit blame or offer any form of settlement no matter how clear-cut you may think the cause of the accident is.
CARRY A NOTEBOOK AND PEN
Use these to sketch out how the accident happened while you are at the scene. Use your mobile phone to take pictures as well if possible. Detail information such as street names, vehicle locations and direction of travel, skid marks, collision points and vehicle damage.
NOTE THE OTHER CAR’S DETAILS
Record the registration number, make, model and colour of all vehicles at the scene.
All drivers must exchange contact details by law. Get their name, address, phone numbers and insurance details. You must also provide this information to others.
GET WITNESSES DETAILS
If there is a witness record their name, address and vehicle registration. This might include passengers in other vehicles involved.
RECORD OTHER INFORMATION
Record anything you think might be important – for instance, if you think the driver of the other vehicle has been drinking or using a mobile phone, or if the weather or road conditions contributed to the accident.
HIT A DOG OR FARM ANIMAL?
You must by law report the incident to the police. If you hit a cat or wild animal, there is no obligation to report it as long as the animal is not injured or suffering.
NOTIFY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Notify your insurer immediately after any collision you are involved in, regardless of whether a claim will be made or whose fault it was. Give your insurers all the details of the incident you took from the scene.