What to do after a car accident.

Your step by step guide

No one expects to be involved in a road accident. But unfortunately, it can happen in the blink of an eye.

From a small bump to a bigger crash these can get the adrenaline pumping and after that shock can sometimes set in.

Immediately after the accident

  • Stop the car as soon as you can – it is an offence not to.
  • Turn off the engine.
  • Switch your hazard lights on.
  • Check for any injuries to yourself or your passengers.
  • If it is a minor collision and there are no injuries, make a note of it just in case the other people later try to claim for an injury, it can happen.
  • Call the police and an ambulance immediately if anyone is hurt or if the incident has blocked the road you are on.
  • Try to remain as calm as possible – it can be difficult as you may feel shaken, take a few deep breaths and try to take stock of the situation the best you can. And try not to lose your temper.
  • This may sound a little bit harsh but do not apologise or admit responsibility for the accident until you are 100% sure of what happened – this can protect you from liability if it was not your fault.

When should the Police be called?

  • If the other driver or drivers leave the scene without giving details.
  • If you think the other driver has no insurance or is under the influence of drink or drugs OR suspect that the other driver has caused an accident deliberately.

Tell the police about the accident within 24 hours – if you don't you may be given a fine, points on your licence, or a disqualification from driving.

Exchange motoring details

  • Share your name and address with everyone involved if the accident caused damage or injury – the law says you must do this.
  • Swap insurance information and details with the other driver(s).
  • Take down details of any other passengers and witnesses to the accident.
  • Try to find out if the other driver is the registered owner of the vehicle, if they are not, find out who the owner is and get that information too (for instance it might be a company car).
  • If a foreign lorry is involved, get the numbers on both the lorry and its trailer, as sometimes these can be different.

What should be record at the accident scene?

  • The make, model, colour, and number plate of the vehicles involved in the accident or take pictures of them.
  • The time and date of the crash.
  • The driving conditions, including the weather, lighting, and road quality (such as road markings, whether it is wet or muddy, repair of the road surface).
  • What sort of damage was caused to the vehicles and where – nearside front wing and door (nearside is the left side of your car, offside is the driver’s side).
  • Any injuries to drivers, passengers, or pedestrians.
  • The names and contact details of any witnesses.
  • Use your phone to take pictures of the scene, the positions of the cars involved, and damage to the cars.

It is a lot to remember especially if you are feeling shaken by the incident!

Things to be aware of.

There are people out there who arrange accidents in order to make money fraudulently.

They might do this by braking unexpectedly, causing you to go into the back of them, or they might flash you to indicate you are free to pass before purposely crash in into you.

The claims these people make can be exaggerated to maximise they try to win back!

Keep an eye out for:

Be especially careful in stop start traffic, merging junctions and roundabouts.

Leave plenty of room between you and the car in front.

Be wary of erratic driving such as slowing for no reason.

Take note if brake lights do not seem to be working and keep your distance.

We do hope you have found this guide of some use in the event of an accident.

We are here to help should you find yourself in this unfortunate position and to ensure the process is as smooth as it can be.

Don’t forget our Accident repair centres are available for advice & peace of mind should you require any assistance:

ARC Crawley 01293 217700

ARC Five Oaks 0844 247 1287

ARC Southampton 0238 0675753

Stay safe & drive carefully!

Courtesy of the AA & Tracy Davis Group Marketing

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