Compare car insurance quotes!

  • Save money by comparing quotes
  • One short form, multiple quotes
  • Monthly payment options
  • Low deposit options

How to react in the event of a car accident

Let's say you've Been involved in a road traffic accident. You are naturally upset, and perhaps rather worried. What should you do?

Stay calm and follow these steps

Park your car in a safe position and turn on your hazard flashers - the last thing you want is another accident! If you have a camera take as many photographs as you reasonably can. Make sure that your dashcam has recorded the incident (you do have one don't you? You can buy a decent one from £20 upwards and they could save you a lot of money and stress). You are obliged to inform anyone who is involved in the accident of your contact details, plus your insurance details if you have them to hand, whether they are present or not (i.e. anyone whose property may have been damaged during the incident) and you are entitled to the contact details and insurance particulars of any other drivers who are also involved.

You should not make any admission of liability, even if you thought that you really were to blame. Some insurers can refuse to pay out if you were to do so.

If necessary, summon help
If any person was injured during the accident you should inform the emergency services immediately. If any other person involved in the accident appeared to have been drinking, was behaving in an aggressive manner, or may have caused the accident deliberately (cash for crash fraud is still happening) you should inform the police authorities right away.

Collect information

You should make a note of the location, the date and time, weather and lighting conditions,and any other factors which could have affected the accident such as the road layout, position of traffic lights, road junctions etc. Make sure to write down the make and colour, and car registration details of any other involved vehicle, as well as the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the drivers. If they have their insurance details available – most will not – you should make a note of these as well. If they are not available you should contact the persons concerned as soon as possible when you get home and ask for these, which you are legally entitled to. You should get the names of any passengers; although you are not legally entitled to this information if they decide not to give it to you.

Get details of any witnesses

If there are witnesses present you should get their contact details; in the event of a dispute about liability an independent witness' testimony could tilt the balance. Try to be as friendly as possible and ask if they would be prepared to help you; most people will do so if they are approched in the right manner.

Contact your insurer

You should let your insurers know about the accident as soon as reasonably possible – certainly within 24 hours – to give them details of the potential claim. Make sure you have your notes available, as well as the names and addresses of anyone else involved in the accident, and their insurance details if appropriate, as well as the contact details of any potential witnesses.