Breakdown Cover

What to do at a Road Traffic Accident

If your car is damaged in a road traffic accident or is involved in an accidental collision you may need assistance from a breakdown patrol to get your vehicle back on the road. Breakdown cover in the UK does not cover you for traffic accidents, however, your breakdown company may be able to arrange recovery of your vehicle but you will be responsible for the cost of this. You may be able to claim this back from your vehicle insurer.

There are certain things that you must do at the scene of the crash in order to comply with the law. This applies regardless of whether you caused the accident or not. It also applies if your vehicle’s ‘presence’ was a factor in the accident, even if it was not directly involved in the collision.

At the accident scene

If you are the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident, and you are uninjured, the first thing you need to do is assess the accident scene. If another person or people are injured dial 999 and call the emergency services.

You are required by law to remain at the accident scene if:-

  • Anyone, other than yourself, is injured or hurt in the accident.
  • The accident has caused damage to a vehicle, other than your own, or to someone’s property.

An animal has been killed or injured. This does not apply to animals and pets being carried in your own vehicle or trailer.
Should the collision be a minor incident you should be in a position to exchange details with other parties involved in the collision. You will need to give your full name and address, the vehicle’s registration number, and the full name of the vehicle’s owner should the car not be registered in your name.

If accident damage is more substantial or if several vehicles are involved in the incident, the accident should be reported to the police immediately. As a driver of a vehicle, you must stay at the scene until the police arrive and then cooperate fully with them. In any case, all road traffic accidents MUST be reported to a police station or to a police constable within 24 hours. Failure to do so could lead to prosecution, a fine, and points on your license.

Injuries at the accident scene

For road traffic accidents that result in injuries to other people, you may be required to produce evidence of your car insurance certificate to the police and to other parties at the crash scene. If you do not have your insurance certificate with you, you will be asked to present it at a nominated police station within seven days. Failure to show a valid certificate is a driving offense and could result in a fine and/or driving disqualification for you.