What to do if you’re involved in a collision: tips from IAM RoadSmart
What to do if you're involved in a collision: tips from IAM RoadSmart
If you've been involved in a collision, you'll know how scary it can be. But do you, and your family and friends, know what to do? Hopefully you will never need this advice but just in case, Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart's head of driving and riding standards has written some helpful tips on the steps to follow:
- Stop your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. Your hazard lights may have already come on but if not, switch them on to alert other motorists. And remember, failing to stop is an offence.
- Speak to the other driver(s) involved. You need to supply your name and address, the details of the owner of the car and the insurance details if you have them. Make sure you record these details from the other driver(s) as you will need them if you make an insurance claim.
- Take photos of any damage on your car and theirs. Try to get at least one photo which includes the registration number.
- If you're involved in a collision on the motorway and you're uninjured, and able to get the vehicle to the hard shoulder, make sure you move to a safe place like behind the Armco barrier. If you are in a live lane and unable to move, put your hazard lights on and call for help. Knowing which carriageway you are on (either A or B) will help the emergency services locate you.
- If you're in a residential area, ensure your hazard lights are on and move to a safe place to inspect your vehicle. If you or any other party is injured call an ambulance.
- Try to remain calm. You may be in shock and it's normal to feel shaken after a collision, but it's important you do not drive away until you feel safe to do so.
- Do not admit liability. Stick to the facts and report these accurately to your insurance company.
- If there are witnesses make sure you speak with them and get their details, they may be able to give a statement to the police or to your insurance company.
- If you have dash cam, this footage could be useful to police and your insurance company to help apportion blame.
When should you call the police?
- If anyone involved is injured, the road is blocked, or the location is such that a danger is being caused then call the police.
- If the collision involves a large animal or a dog and the owner is not present.
- If you think the other driver is under the influence of drink or drugs or is guilty of a traffic offence.
- If the driver doesn't stop or refuses to exchange details or leaves the scene.
- If you have any suspicions speak to the police, they may not attend but will record the call and give advice.
If you've been involved in an incident, and have lost some confidence on the road you may benefit from an Advanced Driver Course. Or if you want some support with particular aspects of driving, our Driver Assessment may be for you.
Richard said: "Being involved in a collision can be stressful, even a minor bump can disable a car and may be costly to fix. Make sure you get as much information as you can from the other driver and any witnesses.
"Try to stay calm. It is likely that no matter who is to blame, the other party is feeling the stress as much as you are. The main priority is to make sure you are all safe whilst dealing with the collision."