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What to do in the immediate aftermath of a Road Traffic Collision?

Here’s what the law requires those involved in a collision to do. This is non-negotiable irrespective of where the driver might think responsibility might lie.

  • Road Traffic Act 1988, s 170 specifies: Any collision which causes damage or injury to a person, vehicle, animal or property requires the parties to stop, exchange names and addresses (which includes that of the vehicle’s owner, if this is someone other than the driver). If that’s not done within 24 hours, it becomes compulsory to report the incident to the police.


  • If someone is hurt, insurance details must be provided there and then. If these are not provided, the incident must be reported to the Police within 24 hours AND insurance details must be provided within 7 days.


Note, these details ought to be volunteered and ought not to have to be dragged out of a driver who’d probably like to depart leaving a mobile number at best. If the driver is not cooperating, call the Police, assuming that medical and physical circumstances permit. If physically damaged, to the extent of requiring medical attention, then call 999 anyway.

Technology being what it is these days, a swift photograph of the location, car (including registration) and driver are never wasted.

Crash reconstruction depends on the post impact position of vehicles/parties involved. See sample sketch below.

Record as much detail as possible: what may have been said, witness details, subsequent journeys and a time line. Then call the Helpline to take it from there.