Common Questions - Motoring Accident

I have been involved in a road collision. What should I do?

Serious injury/incident:

Report the matter to the police by phoning 999.

Damage only:

There is no need to report ‘damage only’ collisions to the police as long as you exchange all your details including:
• The registration numbers of your vehicles
• The details of the drivers involved
• Details of the registered keeper if they are different from the driver
• Your insurance details (if requested)

If someone suffers minor injuries you have to exchange all the above details, including your insurance details, and you must report the matter to the police as soon as possible, but in any case within 24 hours.

What will happen at the police station when I report the incident?

Don't forget to take all your driving documents with you when you report the matter to the police - otherwise you will be issued with a form requiring you to produce them within seven days.

At the police station a member of staff will help you fill in a report of the collision. If you need to speak to a police officer you may have to wait until someone is available. While at the station, you may be asked to write a statement giving your version of the incident.

I think the driver of another vehicle has been drinking. What should I do?

If at any stage you have concerns over the behaviour of another driver, for example, if you think he/she has been driving while over the legal alcohol limit or is driving erratically, you should contact the police as soon as possible.

My car has been damaged. What will happen to it?

In the interests of road safety, damaged vehicles should be removed from the scene as quickly as possible. If necessary, the police may call a garage to recover your vehicle from the roadside. If this is done, any charges are payable by the owner of the vehicle. You can elect your own garage or the police will call the nearest garage.

Will the police prosecute in every case?

No - a driver may clearly be at fault but a decision to prosecute will not be automatic unless there is clear evidence of careless driving. The circumstances must involve more than a momentary lapse in concentration or misjudgment. After due consideration of all the circumstances, a decision may be taken not to take court proceedings. If the police do decide to prosecute, the Crown Prosecution Service will review that decision.

Will I be informed of the result of the police enquiry?

Where details of the collision have been recorded by the police, interested parties will be notified of the result, including whether legal proceedings are to be taken against them.