What to do in an accident

Motorcyclists in particular face difficulties on the road - representing three per cent of road traffic, riders account for a fifth of all casualties. Whilst careful and safe riding can minimise the chances of an accident it is worthwhile thinking what your priorities should be and what "do's and don'ts" apply. A number of key tips can help prepare riders if they do have the misfortune to be involved in an accident.

A driver involved in a traffic accident should stop whether or not the accident was their fault if:-

  • anyone, other than themselves, is injured; or
  • another vehicle, or someone else's property, is damaged; or
  • an animal in another vehicle or running across the road is injured; or
  • a bollard, street lamp or other item of street furniture is damaged.

If you do have to stop, make sure you swap details with anyone else involved in the incident. If details are not swapped at the time, the driver has the duty to pass over their details to the police within 24 hours. If any personal injury has been caused, the driver must produce a valid insurance certificate. If the driver does not have the certificate to hand at the time of the accident, it must be taken to a police station within 7 days of the accident. If the accident has resulted in damage-only, the driver must hand over their details to anyone wishing to claim from them.

If you are involved in an accident and the other party refuses to pass on their details, note down the registration number of the vehicle and the police will be able to trace the owner and their insurance company.

In all accidents drivers should inform their own insurance company, regardless of fault. You do not need to discuss fault at the time of the incident as this is for the insurers to decide.

If there are witnesses around, try and get evidence from them and ask them to write down their statement as soon as possible as it can take time before any dispute is settled in court.

If you or anyone else is injured, call the emergency services and wait for them to arrive before you take your helmet off or anyone is moved.

In the meantime you need to make sure you or the rider in question is as warm and as comfortable as is feasible. Stay calm, sit tight and try not to move in case an injury is aggravated.