What to do When You Have a Car Accident
However safe a driver you are, accidents can happen. If you are unlucky enough to be involved in a traffic collision, here’s what you need to do.
Stop the car
Don’t just drive off. Failure to stop at the scene of a collision is an offence under the Road Traffic Act, so park up somewhere safe, turn off your engine, and turn on your hazard lights, to warn people of the incident. As long as it is safe to do so, get all your passengers out of the car and to safety.
Is anyone hurt, or is the site of the crash putting people in danger by blocking the road? In an emergency, call 999 and ask for the police and an ambulance. For non-emergency collisions, call the police on 101. You must report your involvement in the accident to the police within 24 hours.
Exchange names and addresses
You are required by law to give your name and address to anyone else involved in a collision, including other drivers, pedestrians or the owner of a stationary car that you have hit. If someone isn’t there at the time, leave your details in a note on the windscreen or somewhere else they can find them. At the same time, get the details of the other people involved in the crash, and find out if they are the registered owner of the car they were driving.
Even if you’re feeling remorseful, avoid admitting fault or saying “sorry” at the scene. By taking the blame, you could invalidate your insurance claim further down the line.
Note down important details
It’s not always easy to think clearly when you have had a car accident, but you’ll need to remember key details about the crash, such as the registration numbers of other cars involved, their position in the road, and the damages incurred. If you can think of a clear reason for the crash, such as poor weather or a spillage on the road, note that down too. Take pictures on your phone and use a note-taking app to write down other details, if you don’t have a pen and paper handy.
Contact your insurer
Even if nobody’s car was damaged, you must contact your insurer to inform them of the incident. If you don’t do this, you may invalidate your insurance, meaning that you’re driving uninsured. Give them all the details of the accident, including the contact details of the other people involved (and any witnesses).
See a doctor
You may have hurt yourself in the accident, but sometimes people only feel pain a day or two later. See your GP and tell them about the crash, so that they can give you a check-up.
Get your car checked
However small the scrape, it’s important to have your car checked over. There may be hidden damage from even a minor, low-speed collision, such as a bent vehicle frame. Bring it to us for a check-up and our Land Rover specialists will make sure you’re safe on the road.
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