I’ve been in a collision…what do I do next?

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Published 5 December 2022
Last updated 5 December 2022

In this post we’ll talk about what happens when you’re involved in a collision. We’ll look at what to do, what to say, and who you need to contact.

Being involved in a vehicle collision is a shocking and unpleasant experience. According to recently published statistics, there were 11,028 collisions involving commuting car drivers in 2020. That’s an average of 30 collisions every day.

So, understanding what you need to do if you’re involved in a collision is an important part of road safety.


Here’s some top tips to get you started:

If you are involved in a collision which causes damage or injury to any other person, vehicle, animal or property,
you MUST

1) stop. If possible, stop in a place of relative safety

2) give your own and the vehicle owner’s name and address, and the registration number of the vehicle, to anyone having reasonable grounds for requiring them

3) if you do not give your name and address at the time of the collision, report it to the police as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case within 24 hours. If you’re in Northern Ireland you must report it immediately.

So, what else do you need to know?

  • It’s normal to feel shocked, stressed and upset after any collision. Take a moment to recover yourself before you go and speak to the driver(s) of other vehicles or deal with the emergency services. The Official DVSA Guide to Better Driving can help you with stress management techniques.
  • Capture as much information as you can from the scene of the incident. Photos, registration numbers, makes of car and dash cam footage are all important, so take them down and store them somewhere safe
  • Check for injuries to yourself, your passengers and anyone else involved in the incident. If there are only minor issues, make a note of it in case the other party’s insurance company tries to make a claim for personal injury after the event. If people are more seriously hurt and the road is blocked, call the emergency services
  • Do not discuss whether you – or the other party – caused the incident until everyone involved knows what happened. It might protect you and your insurer from accepting liability if it wasn’t your fault
  • Contact your insurer as soon as possible.

And, finally, remember - prevention is always better than cure. Everyone can make a mistake so drive defensively and make allowances for other people.

Where to find out more

There are plenty of other important things to learn about breakdowns and incidents. To explore this topic further and become a better, safer driver, head over to the Safe Driving for Life shop and pick up a copy of The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – the essential skills.

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