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Details to Note after a Traffic Accident

Updated on November 30, 2008

Confused and Distressed After a Traffic Accident

It is understandable that you as a driver or a motorist are usually confused and distressed after a traffic accident. But confused and distressed as you may be, there are details you need to note down and report to traffic police if your liability is to be reduced and your prospect of success in any subsequent civil or criminal proceedings is to be increased.

Injury to any Person or Animal

In the event of an accident, a motorist is only legally obliged to stop and exchange particulars if the accident causes the following:

  • 1. Damage to any vehicle other than your own or causes damage to other property by the road including damage to walls, fences, buildings, lampposts and other forms of fixtures.
  • 2. Injury to any person or any animal including a horse, dog, cow, sheep, pig, goat, ass or donkey. A cat is not included.

Car Accident - What to Do Next?

Confused and Distressed After a Car Accident - What to Do Next?
Confused and Distressed After a Car Accident - What to Do Next?

Failing to Stop to Exchange Particulars is Endorsable as Offences

Particulars of the vehicle and the driver have to be exchanged with anyone who may reasonably require them. This may mean other motorist, injured person, traffic police and any other persons suffering damage as a result of the accident. Failing to stop to exchange particulars is endorsable as offences by themselves.

Teach Yourself Defensive Driving

Stop and Exchange Particulars

Particulars of the vehicle and the driver have to be exchanged with anyone who may reasonably require them. This may mean other motorist, injured person, traffic police and any other persons suffering damage as a result of the accident. Failing to stop to exchange particulars is endorsable as offences by themselves. The particulars to be exchanged include the following:

  • 1. Name and address of the motorist or driver
  • 2. Name and address of the vehicle's owner, if different from that of the driver.
  • 3. The certificate of insurance should be produced and noted. The insurance certificate is in deed very necessary if someone has been injured.
  • 4. Vehicle registration number

An Accident Must Be Reported Within 24 Hours

An accident must be reported to traffic police within 24 hours (or 48 hours in some countries) if one of the following happened:

  • 1. The driver or the motorist failed to disclose name and address to anyone reasonably requiring them
  • 2. Someone was injured and at the scene of the accident the motorist or the driver was unable to provide the insurance certificate to anyone reasonably requiring it.

Alone At the Scene of Accident

If a motorist was alone at the scene of the accident, then the logic is that the motorist should report the accident to the traffic police as failure to report is an endorsable offence by itself.

Note down General Observations

In addition to exchanging particulars, a motorist is advised to note down some general observations which include the following:

  • 1. Road and weather conditions
  • 2. Any comments and statements made by other parties
  • 3. Any apparent personal injuries sustained and damage suffered
  • 4. Names and force numbers of any attending traffic police officers
  • 5. Draw a sketch plan identifying points of impact and damage
  • 6. Sketch plan to show positions of all vehicles and pedestrians
  • 7. Sketch plan to show any road signs, marking and widths of the road
  • 8. Note down in your sketch plan any visual obstructions
  • 9. Sketch to include positions of independent witnesses and any other relevant factors.

Drivers under Strict Duty to Comply with These Statutory Requirements

You as a motorist or a driver are under a strict duty to comply with these statutory requirements failure to observe them may render you liable to a number of road traffic offences.

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    • Autoaficianado profile image

      Autoaficianado 

      8 years ago from California

      So, failing to report an auto accident, no matter how minor the damages, is illegal?? I've never been in an accident, which is why I don't know!

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