Being in a road accident can be a frightening and unnerving experience. If you are involved in a road accident it is important to get as much information at the scene as practicable.

What does the law require you to do after a road accident?

After an accident, all drivers involved are required to provide each other with personal information including their name and address, the registration number of the vehicle and whether they are the owner of the vehicle.

If a person driving a vehicle is not the owner, then the owner can also be required to give the police information about the person who was driving at the time of the accident. It is an offence not to provide the police with this information unless the owner can show they did not know and it was not reasonable for them to find out.

What if someone is injured?

After an accident try to remain calm. If anyone is injured you should contact the emergency services immediately. Unless you are trained in first aid try not to move the casualty unless they are in danger. Ensure they are breathing, make them warm and comfortable, try to keep them talking and conscious until the emergency services arrive, if you can do so without causing any damage put them in the recovery position.

If you have hit an animal such as a dog, a horse or a farm animal you are required to notify the police.

Staying Safe

Ensure that all handbrakes are on, engines are switched off, put on hazard lights and set up a warning triangle at least 45 metres (50 yards) behind the vehicles, then move to a place of safety, preferably behind a barrier. If you have a reflective jacket put it on. Above all do not take any risks by crossing carriageways or trying to stop traffic.

Swap details

You must, by law, swap details* if there is any injury or damage. You will need as much relevant information as you can about the other party or parties, including:

  • Registration* of other vehicles involved
  • Full names* of all parties
  • Telephone number (preferably a land line number)
  • Whether they own the vehicle(s)
  • Address of driver*
  • Name & Address of registered keeper*
  • If the vehicle is a company car, note the company details
  • Insurance details - name of their insurer and policy details
  • Make, model and colour of the other car(s)
  • Note how many people were in the other vehicle(s)

*By law all parties involved must provide these details

Any Witnesses?

Do not discuss who is blame for the accident with anybody. If there are other people at the scene take the following information from them:

  • Name
  • Address
  • What were they doing at the scene?
  • What did they actually see/hear?
  • This should be written down by the witness as soon as possible after the accident

Your memory

Your memory of the accident is key. It may seem obvious but, as soon as possible after the event, write down everything you can remember ie:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Speeds
  • Distances
  • Weather conditions
  • Witnesses
  • Anything that was said
  • What did you do/how did you feel, after the incident?
  • Anything else you can remember!


Photographs can help tell the story and are often more powerful than words.

  • Take a photo with a camera or mobile phone BEFORE the vehicles are moved
  • Take a photo of the other driver if possible, but be careful not to aggravate a bad situation
  • Photograph the damage and any items which have become detached from your vehicle


If the police were called write down the officer’s details.

  • Name
  • Collar number
  • What station are they from?
  • Does the incident have a reference number?


If you believe the accident wasn't your fault, speak to us today to see if you can make a claim.

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