December 15th, 2021
Last year’s lockdowns saw the number of casualties from road traffic accidents fall by 25 per cent, but even with pandemic restrictions, more than 115,000 people were still injured.
As traffic returns to its pre-2020 levels, we’ve put together a checklist of what drivers should remember to do if they’re unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident.
1) Remember that it’s against the law to drive away following an accident, so always stop your car as soon as it’s safe to do so, turn off the engine and switch the hazard lights on.
2) Try to remain as calm as possible and control your temper: getting angry won’t solve anything and can, in some cases, make a bad situation even worse.
3) Check for any injuries to yourself or your passengers and call the police and an ambulance immediately if anyone is hurt or if the road is blocked.
4) Exchange details with anyone involved in the accident, and make a note of their name, address, telephone number, vehicle registration number and insurance information.
5) Don’t apologise or admit responsibility for the crash until you’re completely aware of what happened – this can protect you from liability if it wasn’t your fault.
6) UK Gov* says you must share your name and address with everyone involved if the accident caused damage or injury. Get the names and contact information of any other passengers and witnesses.
7) If the other driver isn’t the registered owner of the vehicle, find out who is. If you find that a foreign lorry was involved then you must get the numbers of the lorry and its trailer, and, if possible, the name of the company.
8) Things can often be resolved without calling the police if no-one has been injured and the other people involved are prepared to cooperate with you. But the police must be called if the other driver leaves the scene without giving their details, you suspect them of driving without insurance, or driving under the influence of drink or drugs. Plus, did you know that you may be able to get compensation if you are the victim of an uninsured motorist*.
9) 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.
10) You must also report the accident to your insurance company, even if you’re not planning to make a claim.
11) Even if no one else is involved in the accident, but you caused damage to private property or a parked car, you should leave a note with your details where the owner can see it.
12) Make a note of as many details as you can, such as the time and the date, driving conditions, lighting and weather, and the quality of the road surface.
13) Use your phone to take pictures of the scene, and if you have a dash cam, store the incident details and video footage.
Any details you can record about the circumstances of the accident, and what damage and injuries were caused, will help you remember what happened later on.
Most important of all, from all of us here at One Call, remember to drive carefully and stay safe!
If you’re a One Call Insurance customer and you do need to make a claim, you can register it quickly and simply on our online customer portal.
* By clicking this link, you will be redirected to away from our website.
** Please note that the above information has been gathered through secondary research. The information provided is not based on our opinion. You should seek further guidance and information before making an informed decision.