What to do after a collision

It’s important you know what to do if you’re involved in a road traffic collision.

If you are the driver you should:

• Ensure the safety of yourself and others

• Warn other traffic if necessary, but don’t put yourself in danger

• Call the emergency services if they are required

• Take the details of any witnesses

You must:

• Stop and stay at the scene for a reasonable amount of time

• Give the people in the other vehicles or property your details. Give your details to the driver / owner, or any other person who has reasonable grounds for having the information. You must provide your name, address, vehicle registration number, and details of the owner of your vehicle if it’s not you.

If someone is injured, you must do the things above and also provide details of your insurance.

If you do not stop you must report the collision to the police within 24 hours in person at a police station. Contacting us by telephone does not comply with the law. Failing to do this will make you liable for prosecution.

What will the police do at the scene?[+ / -]

When officers attend a collision, their priorities are to:

• Ensure the scene is safe and ensure that any injured people receive treatment

• Arrange for the removal of vehicles if necessary

• Record the details of the collision if appropriate, to establish if there are grounds for a prosecution

• Check the licenses and insurance details of the drivers and vehicles

• Check the roadworthiness of the vehicles

• If required, breath-test all drivers / suspected drivers

Do I have to report a collision to the police when…[+ / -]

• A person other than myself is injured?

If you stopped at the scene for long enough to pass on details to the necessary people about the vehicle, the driver and owner details, and the vehicle insurance details, there is no need to report the matter to police.

If you did not stop and provide the necessary details, you must report the incident to police within 24 hours in person at a police station.

• Damage is caused to another vehicle or someone else’s property?

If you stopped at the scene for long enough to pass on details to the necessary people about the vehicle, the driver and owner details, there is no need to report the matter to police.

If you did not stop and provide the necessary details, you must report the incident to police within 24 hours in person at a police station.

• An animal outside of my vehicle / trailer has been killed or injured?

If you stopped at the scene for long enough to pass on details to the necessary people about the vehicle, the driver and owner details, there is no need to report the matter to police.

If you did not stop and provide the necessary details, you must report the incident to police within 24 hours in person at a police station.

What will the police do after a collision?[+ / -]

If the matter is reported within 24 hours, we will record it and provide you with a reference number for your insurance company, and further investigation will take place if necessary, and the circumstances require us to do so. Not all collisions will be investigated.

If you have carried out your responsibilities at the scene as above and then report the incident at a police station later, we will not record it as the law has been complied with and there is no requirement to do so.

We will not issue a reference number just to satisfy insurance companies.

Please note that if you did not stop at the scene and provide the necessary details, and then failed to report the matter to police within 24 hours, you may have committed offences.

I think the vehicle I collided with was uninsured – what should I do?[+ / -]

If you believe that a vehicle involved in a collision with you is uninsured, you should:

• Report it to your insurance company, who have agreed procedures to obtain the information and act on your behalf

• Seek guidance from the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) website (link to: www.askmid.com)

I was involved in a collision in a car park. Should I contact the police?[+ / -]

Police do not routinely record or investigate minor collisions in car parks, such as a supermarket car park.

We recommend you report this directly to your insurance company who should investigate on your behalf.

If the registration number of the other vehicle was taken, you can obtain the owner information directly from the DVLA by sending them a V888 form (available from post offices), which you should then provide to your insurance company.You can also check whether the other vehicle was insured via the Motor Insurers Bureau

Can police provide me with details of a driver if I give the registration number of the vehicle?[+ / -]

This would breach the Data Protection Act so is not possible.

How long does it take officers to investigate a road traffic collision?[+ / -]

Officers attending the scenes of collisions may deal with it in one of the following ways once they have made initial investigations:

• Take no further action (where no party is blameworthy and/or details have been exchanged)

• Issue a verbal warning to drivers who have committed minor breaches of normal acceptable driving standards. This will be recorded on our data management system

• Report drivers who have committed a major breach of normal acceptable driving standards which may result in a court appearance.

In all the instances above, the police will tell all parties involved of the action they are taking.

Officers have up to six months to investigate and, where appropriate, bring proceedings for offences relating to a road traffic collision.

Once enquiries are complete, the relevant parties will be updated on how the case was finalised.