Understanding The Motor Accident Procedure

Last Updated: 10/05/2022

Having the freedom of driving a car is an amazing privilege, however, there’s a chance that at some point during your time driving you will be involved in an accident.

When you are in a car accident, it’s an incredibly stressful time.

The shock can make it tough to keep your mind focussed and do the right things but there is also the potential for panic, some pain from an injury or concern about what to do next.

Thankfully, there are some steps you can take which will ensure you are doing anything that the law requires you to do.

It also makes sure that you have all of the information you need for the aftermath of the incident, meaning you can get yourself home and relax knowing that you can begin to get things back on track tomorrow after a good sleep.

What You Will Learn

A road accident can obviously vary in severity, not to mention there are different circumstances.

You may be the only vehicle involved, or there could be several.

You may have caused significant damage or none at all and there may be some serious injuries involved, or again, nothing.

With so many eventualities and possibilities, it’s important to know how to act and what you should be thinking about.

We’ve put together this guide to prepare you for scenarios when you find yourself in an accident.

To make sure we stay consistent with our other guides, we have split this up in to the following sections:

  • Step-By-Step Guide
  • Video Demonstration
  • Hints & Tips
  • Useful Information
  • Final Thoughts

Step-By-Step Guide

Most of what to do following a road traffic accident is straightforward and common sense, however, it’s tough to remember if you have just been in an accident.

Therefore, we’ve put the list of steps to take in a simple numeric list below.

Why not print it out and pop it in your car, just in case you ever need to refer to it?

  • In the event of an accident, stop the car as soon as it is safe to do so. It is against the law to drive away from the scene of an accident if another vehicle is involved, somebody is killed or injured, an animal is killed or injured or if someone else’s property (including lampposts, signs, etc) has been damaged. So, always stop, pull over and turn the engine off.
  • Next, turn your hazard lights on, regardless of where you pull up. It alerts motorists to the fact that they need to slow down as hazards may be in the road.
  • Check yourself first in terms of injury and then your passengers.
  • Check any other people involved in other vehicles for injury. Even if there are none, make a note of this.
  • If there are any injuries, then dial 999 and request an ambulance and police.
  • You should also dial 999 and request the police if the road is blocked or you suspect drink or drugs were involved.
  • Unless there are injuries involved, you should remove any passengers and animals out of your vehicle and away from the road. Put them in a sheltered area as far away from the road as possible.
  • If other drivers are involved, you need to exchange details. Name, address and car registration number are the essentials you need. Ideally, grab a telephone number as well. Insurance details are not necessary at this point if you have this information.
  • If you are unable to drive the car away from the scene of the accident, then call a breakdown service to come and collect your car. If you’re ever in doubt as to whether your vehicle is damaged, then it’s safer to get it removed from the roadside for you by a professional recovery service.

Video Demonstration

Hints & Tips

In the aftermath of an accident, your thoughts are all over the place.

You’re shocked, panicking, anxious and also trying to remember what details you need to record from the other journey.

If you feel all of the above us too much, or you’re shaking still, then don’t try to drive on once the formalities have been completed.

Find somewhere local like a coffee shop or café to calm down.

Maybe call a friend or family member to have them pick you up.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t want to jump back behind the wheel immediately, so instead allow yourself the time to calm down.

Useful Information

In the aftermath of an accident, you should never say it was your fault, even if it’s at the side of the road and said verbally.

This can be used as a verbal statement against you as admitting fault.

If you’re making a compensation claim, then having admitted fault already can invalidate your claim.

Even if you think it was your fault, never admit liability at the roadside.

Another thing to do is always think about safety in the moments immediately after an accident.

Once your hazard lights are on and you’re there are no injuries, then get everyone out of the vehicle and away from the roadside.

There are a surprisingly high number of instances of vehicles striking cars which have been involved in an accident – to guard against you being injured in cases like this, everyone should get as far away from the road as possible.

Final Thoughts

Being involved in an accident is not fun.

It’s worrying, stressful and can create a whole range of emotions.

Getting back behind the wheel in future can also be tough after an accident.

If you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself involved in one, then it’s important to try and keep a level head for as long as possible so that you can go through the steps above.

Hopefully, damage is minor and no injuries have occurred, meaning it’s a simple case of exchanging basic details with the other driver and getting yourself home to relax and unwind away from the stressful environment of the road side.

If there are ever any injuries, you must notify the emergency services – this is to cover yourself in case of any future compensation claims or police involvement, as much as anything else.