What to do after a road traffic accident

Last year, according to the Department for Transport, there were 181,384 casualties arising from reported road traffic accidents, of which 24,101 were seriously injured. Although it is unpleasant to think about being involved in a road traffic accident, it is important that you know what to do should you be involved in one yourself.

As personal injury specialists, we help many people through the aftermath of an accident, and here, we share some advice on what you should do if you’ve been injured in a road traffic accident through no fault of your own.

Always stop

Regardless of the severity of the incident, it is vital you stop. If the collision is minor, and you are able to do so, park your vehicle in a safe place to avoid causing a traffic jam. Failing to stop following a road traffic accident is a criminal offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988. If you are able to, you should switch off your engine and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.

Swap details

You should swap names, phone numbers and addresses with any other people involved in the accident. If the accident involves a parked car, you should leave your details on the windscreen.

Call the emergency services

If you or somebody else has been injured, emergency services should be called immediately. If no-one has been injured but the road is blocked, the police should be contacted. If the police aren’t called out to the scene of the accident, you should still report the incident to them as soon as possible.

Write down what happened

As soon as you can, you should try and write down a detailed account of the accident circumstances, collecting as much information as you can and, if possible, take photographs. The infographic below includes details you need to consider:


What if I come across an accident?

If you witness a road traffic accident or are present during the aftermath of one, you may want to help. However, this won’t always be practical as stopping or slowing down on a busy 

road may cause another accident or a traffic jam, which could slow down the emergency services arrival. You should only stop your vehicle if it safe to do so.

If it is safe for you to stop and help, you should consider following this advice:

  • Turn your engine off and remove the keys

  • Turn your hazard lights on

  • Call the emergency services

  • Stay away from accidents involving dangerous or flammable goods or chemicals

  • Stay at the scene until the emergency services arrive

  • Do not unnecessarily try and move any injured people from their vehicles

  • If a motorcyclist is involved in the accident, do not remove their helmet unless is it vital to their safety  

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident that was not your fault, please get in touch with our solicitors today to make a claim for compensation by calling 0800 10 757 95 or by filling in our online claim form.

Categories: Road And Motor
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