What to Do If You’re in an Accident

Nobody ever expects to be involved in a car accident but we think it’s best to be prepared in case you are which is why we’ve put together this piece to help.

What to Do Immediately After an Accident


If your vehicle has not already come to a stop you should stop as soon as it is safe to do so. It is a legal requirement to stop after an accident, even if it is just your vehicle involved and not doing so can lead to you being charged with failure to stop after a collision which comes with up to 10 points on your licence.

Once the car has stopped you should turn off the ignition and if it is on the road still then you should put your hazard lights on to make you more visible to other drivers.

Check for Injuries

Before leaving the vehicle you should make sure that you do not have any serious injuries. If you have passengers you should also make sure they are not seriously hurt and it is safe for you all to move.

If anyone is injured then you should call for an ambulance, and if they have hurt their back or neck then you should avoid moving them if possible until professionals arrive.

Some injuries, like concussion from a knock to the head, may not always be visible at first so if you are concerned about any injuries even if it is a few hours after the incident then we advise seeking medical help.

Leave the Vehicle

Where it is safe to do so then you should exit the vehicle and move to a safe location to avoid any further injury to yourself or your passengers.

If you have a high vis jacket that is accessible then you should wear this to ensure you are visible to other road users, and where you are able to place a warning triangle out to alert other drivers if your vehicle is in the road still.

Exchange Details

If there is anyone else involved in the accident then you should exchange details with them. It is a legal requirement to provide your details when you are involved in an accident.

You will need to provide your:

  • Full name
  • Contact details and address
  • Vehicle registration, make and model
  • Insurance provider details

Even if you are involved in an accident where you damage property or a parked vehicle then you will need to provide your details to the owner. If they are not present at the time of the accident then you should leave a note with these details on so that they can contact you when they return to the scene.

Make a Record

No matter if there is anyone else involved or you clip a stationary object you should make a record of the incident.

We advise taking notes of:

  • The time and date of the incident
  • The other vehicles involved including their registration number, make, model and colour
  • The weather conditions
  • The road conditions
  • Visibility or any other influencing factors
  • Any damage to vehicles or property
  • The positions of vehicles
  • A brief description of the scene

Along with taking notes you should also try to take photographs of the scene, including any road markings, damage and injuries sustained.

Having a record of this information will help you accurately advise your insurance provider and the police on what happened and be useful if there is any dispute over who is at fault.

Let the Police Know

It is a legal requirement to notify the police of any road traffic accident within 24 hours

There are two numbers that you can use to contact the police depending on the severity of the accident and whether their presence is immediately required, these are 999 and 101.

You should contact 999 if:

  • Anyone is seriously injured
  • The driver of any involved vehicle has left the scene
  • You suspect that any of the drivers involved are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Any of the involved drivers do not have insurance
  • You suspect the crash was intentionally caused as part of a crash for cash scheme
  • The road is blocked at all

If you do not require an emergency response then you can use 101 to notify the police of the accident later on, as long as it is within 24 hours.

If the police attend the scene then they will usually ask that all involved drivers complete a breathalyser test. They will also take down all the details of the accident from the involved parties, including any witnesses, and try to get an accurate understanding of what occurred.

The police will file a report on the accident and you may need to provide your insurance provider with the details of this so we recommend getting a reference number for your own records.

Let Your Insurer Know

The next step is advising your insurance provider of the accident, which you should do even if you do not plan to make a claim to protect you from any other parties making a claim against your policy or it potentially being invalidated due to lack of notification.

You will need to provide then with the details of the accident, any other involved parties and their details as well as those of any witnesses.

If you want to process a claim on your policy then the time it will take to do so will depend on a few factors including, the number of parties involved, the damage done to vehicles and property, any injuries, and any dispute between where fault lies. When you put in the claim your provider should be able to advise you of a timeline.

Moving the Vehicle

If it is safe for you to do so and the vehicle is drivable then you should move it so that it is not blocking the road for other users. This might simply be pulling it into a layby or grass verge until further assistance can arrive for you.

Where it is not possible for you to move the vehicle from the road then the police should be notified so that they can attend the scene and put in place traffic control measures to prevent further accidents involving other road users. Until they arrive if you are able to you should put on the vehicle’s hazard lights and put out a warning triangle.

If you have breakdown cover then you should contact them in order to arrange for them to move the vehicle and take it to your preferred garage in order to be assessed and repaired.

What Not to Do in a Car Accident

There are a few things you should avoid doing if you are involved in a car accident. The first of which is not to leave the scene. As we’ve already mentioned this is an offence and you could receive 10 points on your driving licence for doing so.

You should not admit any responsibility for the accident as this can be used to at a later date to find you at fault. Who is at fault will be decided by the insurance companies and if you admit fault at the scene then this could be factored into their decision.

Lease Cars Involved in an Accident

If you are leasing a vehicle and are involved in an accident then you will also need to let your funder know that the vehicle has been involved in an accident and the steps you are taking. If the vehicle needs repair work then you should keep them updated as this progresses.

One thing to be aware of with a lease vehicle is that if the car is written off then you will be responsible for paying the remainder of the expected payments to your lease funder. If this is more than what your insurance provider pays for the vehicle then you will be liable for the difference and need to pay this yourself.

If you’d like to learn more about leasing then check out our other articles or head over to our top deals to find your perfect Mercedes lease deal.

Back To News