What to do if you’re in an accident

A car accident can be as shocking as it is stressful, which might leave you feeling a little bewildered as to what to do in the moments after the incident. So, it’s worth finding out what you should do to prevent a potentially bigger headache later. Here are a few top tips to keep in mind:

A broken down car is in the background with a small portable hazard sign set up in front of it.

1. Be safe

The very first thing to do after any accident is to remove yourself from danger as quickly as possible. Start by turning off your engine and putting hazard lights on to alert other motorists that you’ve had to stop. It’s then time to leave your vehicle and stand in a safe location well away from it. This is particularly important if there’s a risk of fire and also to minimise the chances of you being hit by another vehicle.

If there’s an injured person inside the vehicle, or the road is being blocked dial 999 and alert the emergency services of the situation.

Close up image of two car bumpers colliding at slow speed

2. Collect the right details

It’s important to know that if another vehicle is involved in an accident you must provide them with your vehicle registration, as well as your name and address. Here’s what you should look to get:

  • Insurance details of other vehicles
  • Registration numbers of vehicles involved
  • Name, address and registrations of any witnesses
  • Details of police officers at the scene
  • Date, time and weather conditions when incident occurred
Recovery truck picking up a car

3. Photograph the scene

It’s always handy to have a camera to hand, so if you can grab some snaps of the scene, being sure to include any damage caused and marks left on the road.

 
Closeup of two car bumpers and handshake

4. Report it correctly

Most insurance policies require you to report any accidents, even if you don’t intend to make a claim, so be sure to inform your provider as soon as possible. It’s also important in many cases to notify the police within 24 hours of the accident. This falls under Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

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