Traffic Accident Advice

Although we all hope it will never happen to us, the sad fact is that many of us will become involved in some sort of car accident at some time in our lives. If this does happen to you, follow this step by step advice about what you must do at the scene.

1. Stop

By law you must stop if you have been involved in accident, whether or not the accident was your fault. You should always stop at the scene if:

  • anyone is injured
  • a domesticated animal is injured
  • another vehicle or someone else's property is damaged
  • a street lamp, bollard or other item of street furniture is damaged

If there is nobody else at the scene of the accident, you must report the accident to the police, in person, within 24 hours. If you bump a parked car, and the owner is nowhere to be seen, you are legally obliged to leave a note with your contact details on the windscreen.

2. Check for Casualties

Switch off your engine and turn on your hazard lights to make sure that other drivers can see you. Check that everyone is safe and that there are no injuries. If anyone has been injured, you MUST call the police, and make sure an ambulance is on the way if it's serious.

If anyone is injured, you will be asked to produce your insurance certificate by the police. If you do not have the document with you, the insurance certificate must be taken to a police station within seven days of the accident.

You should contact the police if the road is blocked or damaged, or if anyone leaves the scene without exchanging details.

3. Exchange Details

All drivers involved in the accident must exchange details. Make sure that you have (and have given) the following information:

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4. Find Any Witnesses

Make sure you have the full name and address (and registration number if applicable) of any eye-witnesses.

5. Note the Accident Details

Make a sketch at the scene of the accident adding in as many details as possible; include street names, the position of the vehicles, collision points, directions of travel and skid marks. If you have a camera (many mobile phones now incorporate a camera), take photos of the vehicle positions and damage; however do be careful when taking photos near busy roads.

Note the date, time and location of the incident, and also the extent of damage and whether the vehicles are still driveable. It is also worth making a note of any statements made at the scene by any of the parties involved, including any witnesses. However, never get into a discussion about who was to blame, and NEVER admit liability, as this may create problems for you and your insurers in the handling of your claim.

Record any other details that might be useful, such as if one of the drivers was using a mobile phone at the time of the accident, or if anyone involved is physically injured or complaining of pain and discomfort.

6. Tell Your Insurers

Even if you don't intend to claim, it is a condition of all insurance policies that the company must be informed if you're involved in any sort of accident. If you do intend to claim, read on for details on how to make an insurance claim ...

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