Car Accidents > Car Accident Guides > What to do if you are involved in an accident

What to do if you're in a Car Accident

If you are involved in a car accident, no matter how minor you may think it is, the first thing you should do is stop. Failing to stop at the scene of an accident that you were involved in, whether or not it was your fault, is an offence under the Road Traffic Act.

This also applies to accidents involving parked cars, bollards, lampposts and other road furniture.

Once you have stopped you should make sure your car’s engine is switched off, and then turn your hazard lights on to alert other road users to your presence. The next step is to take a look around to see if anyone has been injured in the accident. If someone is hurt then the police should be called, as well as an ambulance so that any injuries can be seen too immediately.

Giving details after a car accident

When you're involved in a car accident, you’re obliged to remain near your vehicle long enough for anyone who is involved directly (a relative of an injured person) or indirectly (a police officer) in the accident to ask for details.

However, you should avoid saying sorry or accepting responsibility for the accident until you have informed your insurance company and you know exactly how the accident occurred, as it could count against you later on.

Injury to another person

If any personal injury is caused to another person, you must also produce a valid insurance certificate if asked to do so by a police officer, injured person, or anyone else directly or indirectly involved in the accident.

If you are not able to provide your insurance certificate at the scene of the accident, then you must produce it at the police station within seven days (from the date of the incident). If you are involved in a damage-only accident, then you must give your insurance details to anyone who may wish to make a claim against you.

Make sure you report it!

Remember, car accidents must be reported to the police within 24 hours, or as soon as practicable. Failure to do so could result in a fine, penalty points or even disqualification. The police should also be called if someone leaves the scene of a car accident without giving their details.