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We've pulled together a list of the essential steps to take following a road traffic accident.
Bristol Street Motors

What to Do If You're in a Car Accident

What to Do If You're in a Car Accident

Unfortunately, road accidents happen. Whilst it’s a situation we all hope we’ll never end up in, it’s best to be prepared and understand what you need to do following a collision. By knowing what steps to take, you can minimise stress and get the situation resolved as quickly as possible.

Even if you’re the most careful driver in the world, there are many external factors which are out of your control (for example, other road users, poor visibility, adverse weather etc.), meaning the likelihood of an accident is never completely out of the question. Therefore, it’s important remember the following steps, should a road traffic incident occur.

What to do following a collision

1. Stop your vehicle and turn the engine off immediately – no matter how minor you believe the collision to be. You must never flee the scene of a road accident - it’s an offence to do so under the Road Traffic Act

2. Turn your hazard lights on to alert other road users to the situation

3. Check the welfare of yourself and any of your passengers – if anyone in the vehicle is seriously injured, you need to call an ambulance immediately

4. Call the Police on 999 if it’s a major incident, or 101 if it’s a minor collision. The Police will be able to advise on the best course of action depending on the circumstances

5. If no one in your vehicle is seriously hurt, get out of the car

6. Try to remain as calm as possible – it’s understandable to be stressed, however getting angry (even if it wasn’t your fault) is likely to make the situation worse

7. Take photographs of the scene, any injuries and any damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle(s) involved. Get plenty of photos from different angles

8. Do not admit responsibility or apologise for the accident, even if you think you may have been at fault. This could complicate the situation further down the line and may negate any accident compensation claims you file, even if you weren’t actually at fault

9. Make a note of the time and date of the incident, any driving conditions which may have contributed (e.g., weather, visibility, road conditions), and the make, model and registration number of each vehicle involved

10. If there are any witnesses, record their names and contact details for future reference

11. Ask all drivers involved for details of their car insurers

12. If your car cannot be driven away, call your recovery service for assistance

13. As soon are you’re able to, you should make a call to your insurance company, or alternatively contact Bristol Street Motors Accident Aftercare, who will arrange an estimate and repair of your vehicle at one of our approved body centres

If you decide to call the Accident Aftercare line, our team will liaise with your insurers and the body shop directly, as well as arrange a complimentary like-for-like courtesy car, if the accident was not your fault. For the highest quality workmanship and an unbeatable level of customer care, our accidents and repairs service will always be on hand to assist.

Plus, did you know - if your vehicle is written off, many insurers will only pay the market value of the vehicle, not the original price you paid for it? This often won’t be enough to replace your current vehicle, or pay off any outstanding finance.

If you do find yourself in a road accident, following the steps outlined in this guide should ensure the aftermath is managed as effectively as possible, and will hopefully mean you are able to get back on the roads in no time at all.