What are my legal requirements if I am involved in a road accident?
The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that if you are involved in an accident while driving a vehicle and cause damage or injury, you must stop to exchange information with the other party involved.
- Vehicle registration
- Full name
Make sure that everyone involved is safe
In the first instance, you should turn off your engine and check for any injuries to yourself or another passenger. You should then check that anyone else involved is also OK. If someone requires medical assistance, ring an ambulance straight away.
If you are involved in an accident but do not own the car, you must also share the vehicle owner’s details.
If you fail to exchange details or report the accident to the police within 24 hours, it could be perceived as ‘failing to stop’, which is an offence that can be prosecuted in court.
Notify your insurance company
After exchanging details, make sure to notify your insurance company. This is normally written in small print and states that it is your responsibility to tell your insurer about any accident, no matter how minor it may be.
Drivers often find that repair costs can become expensive, so it is always best to make a claim straight away even if the damage is minor on the surface. You should also do this regardless of whoever’s fault it was, especially in a multi-car accident where the insurers of the other parties will contact your insurer as part of their claims.
Collect evidence at the scene
If you are able to, collect photographic evidence of the scene. This should include images of the damage done to your vehicle, as well as the damage on the other vehicles involved.
What should I do if I crash with an uninsured driver?
While the number of uninsured drivers is very low, they are still unfortunately present on UK roads. Those unfortunate drivers involved in accidents with uninsured drivers should report the incident to the police straight away. They should also contact their insurer, who will be able to advise on the best course of action.
Invest in a dash cam
Having a dash camera can sometimes be the difference maker should one driver decide to drive off, not exchange details and failed to report the incident. This is true in the case when the car is moving during normal driving as well as when the car is parked up due to the parking mode feature advanced dash camera’s now have. Please click the link above to learn more.