Advertorial : What to do in a collision?

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Car incident

It’s difficult to think clearly and remember what you need to do when you’ve just been involved in a car accident. At the time most people will be upset and may be worried about their passengers or the driver of the other car having been hurt. So a useful tip is to print off a list of the key things to remember, and keep it in the glovebox of your car, together with a notepad and pen. That way the checklist is always to hand for you to refer to in the unhappy event of you being involved in a collision.

First things first – stay safe. If you’ve been involved in a collision where vehicles have been damaged or someone has been hurt, it’s a legal requirement that you stop. But if the crash has happened somewhere where you are vulnerable to other road users, and your car is still drivable, then move it to the nearest safe spot off the road, and make sure that everyone involved is away from traffic.

Check for injuries. If anyone has been hurt, you must call the emergency services, and if you feel that your vehicles represent a hazard to other road users then report the accident immediately to the police and tell them exactly where you are so that they can secure the road. In the meantime you or other witnesses might need to warn other road users of the hazard – if you carry a warning triangle in your car, now is the time to use it.

Try to stay calm. Both you and the other driver are likely to be upset and possibly angry. Try to stay calm and focus on what needs to be done. Avoid admitting any liability, or getting into a discussion or argument about the details of the accident.

Exchange details with the other driver. Get as many details as possible from the other driver. Record the registration number of their car, together with the colour, make and model. Ask them if they are the registered keeper, and if not, record the details of the owner. Write down their name, address and phone numbers, and give them your own details. If the police are at the scene they will ask for your insurance document, and if you don’t carry it in your car you will need to produce it at your local police station within seven days.

Record as much evidence as possible. If you are able to do so safely before moving your vehicles, take as many photos on your mobile as possible of the scene of the collision, the position of the vehicles, and the damage suffered. Make a sketch of the road layout, mark any traffic lights or street signs, and record the names of streets. Ask any witnesses for their names and addresses so that they can corroborate your statement later if needed. It’s surprising how many people change their story a day or two after an accident, particularly if it seems that they were at fault.

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Their helpline will be set up to provide you with support and advice, and take the worry of dealing with the other driver’s insurer off your shoulders. Remember to provide them with all the evidence that you have collected so that liability can be proved.

This information was provided to you by Allianz Your Cover (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk).

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

20 Comments

  1. Point 6:
    Brace yourself for a blizzard of emails and cold calls urging you claim for non-existant whiplash injuries, once your insurer has flogged your details to every spiv imaginable.

  2. Regarding the reporting of accidents to your insurance company if it’s not your fault – when I did this my insurance company asked me if I was making a claim. When I said no, I was reporting an accident which I had not caused, they said I was still making a claim. I argued this point with them and they said that I should contact the other parties insurance company direct and register tha accident with them to avoid it being logged against me as a claim and the possible impact on future premiums.

    I don’t know if anyone else has had this issue?

  3. Threaten legal action against the other driver when they refuse to admit to having been at the scene.

    Of course, these were the days before mobile phone cameras. Though some people used to keep a cheap disposable camera (remember those?) in the glovebox.

  4. Exchange details .

    In France most cars carry a double page printed document called a
    ” Constat Amiable ” ( Amicable Report ).

    These are very useful in the case of an accident. One can fill it in very easily with all details of both cars and drivers , insurance , registration number etc etc .

    There is a list ‘ Circumstances ‘ which allows one to give details of the accident without having to write a long story .
    Also a space allowing one to draw a sketch of vehicle positions .

    Once filled in , each driver signs and takes a copy to give to his / her insurance .

    I don’t think this exists in the UK but it would be very useful if it did .

  5. ” Constat Amiable ” forms sound like what should be in place.

    You are insured to pilot a fast heavy box of metal, some sort of form should an accident/collision occur should be mandatory.

    Though with the numpties out there, I’m not sure many would know how to fill in a form. Dumbed down Britain.

    And in France, is it the car that is insured, not the driver? I read something once about the difference.

  6. ” Though some people used to keep a cheap disposable camera (remember those?) in the glovebox.”

    They still exist. Kodak and Fuji, amongst others, still make them. Some are branded for emergency use… and of course, most supermarkets of any decent size still have a Fuji Frontier kicking around to run out a batch of prints for a couple of quid. I think people should carry them even if they have a mobile, just in case said mobile is damaged, inaccessible, or has a flat battery.

  7. And remember, if you are arrested or questioned by the Police,say nothing at all until you have seen your solicitor and when you do have to remember there are only 3 answers you should give them:
    Yes
    No
    I don’t Know

    And boy will I never forget that

  8. What on earth happened in the picture? The BMW must have hit the Freelander with some force-look at the fence!

  9. #2 yes, my car was scratched all down the right side while parked. I told my insurance company, but decided not to make a claim, due to the £350 excess. Next renewal it meant I couldn’t get a better deal elsewhere – muy current company didn’t load the premium, but everyone else put £200 on. This only actually cost me about £50, but rubbed salt in the wound after a hit and run.

  10. Timely advice as some t**t drove into the back of my Mini a couple of days ago, writing it off in the process. Staaaaaaay caaaaalm!!!!!!!

  11. I actually do have an accident ‘kit’ in the car which does include a disposable camera, and a handy advice leaflet, plus a pen and a tape measure.

  12. All useful tips, advice.

    Thanks to a driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel I was, twenty years ago, landed in intensive care. The legal wrangling that followed, over something clearly not my fault, amazed me. So I guess, establishing as much evidence, facts at the scene is fundamental. Try to reduce the chance of protracted legal arguments over liability.

  13. I know folk that install those £40 cctv cameras that stick on the ‘screen and record every journey-a must if you crash into a heap with no brake lights crack the rear bumper,and when it gets to court the picture of the car looks like a 40 tonne ERF hit it,has as happened to a few folk falling victim to the scammers.
    Oh an another thing,any walking wounded,anyone screaming,leave them they are alive always see to the ones not making any noise.Also dont sit anyone in your own car if they decide they have whiplash its your roof that comes off-balls to them.

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