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Road accident – what should I do?

What you have to do if you are involved in a road accident while driving a motor vehicle or riding a bicycle.

If you are involved in an accident while driving your car or motorcycle or riding your bicycle, you must stop immediately. If you leave the scene of the accident too soon, you may be committing an offence.

What should I do?

1. Assess the situation

  • Stop
  • Keep calm; switch on your hazard warning lights and your headlights.
  • Assess how many other vehicles are involved in the accident, what type of vehicles they are, and where they are located.
  • Check whether anyone has been injured?
  • Is there any risk of fire or an explosion? Are any of the vehicles involved carrying dangerous goods?

2. Secure the accident site

  • Set up your warning triangle at least 50 m from the site of the accident, or if the traffic is moving quickly, at least 100 m away.

3. Give first aid

  • Move injured people out of the danger zone immediately, if they are at risk of being struck by oncoming traffic or if there is a risk of fire.
  • Provide first aid, using the first aid kit in your car if need be.

4. Contact the emergency services

  • Call the police (117), the ambulance service (144) or if there is a fire, the fire brigade (118).
  • Do not move anything at the scene of the accident before the police arrive unless this is essential in order to protect injured people or for the safety of other road users.
  • If possible, take photographs of the original scene before moving vehicles or persons.

5. Attend to the injured

  • Take care of any injured people, monitor them closely and talk to them.

Accidents on the motorway

  • If at all possible, steer your vehicle onto the hard shoulder.
  • Switch on your hazard warning lights.
  • Contact the police (Tel. 117). You have to give them your precise location (motorway number, direction of travel, kilometre, last exit).
  • Watch out for traffic when leaving your vehicle.
  • Move to a safe location away from the roadway.
  • Make an assessment of the accident site.
  • Walk along the hard shoulder against the direction of the traffic waving the warning triangle up and down.
  • Secure the scene of the accident by setting up the warning triangle.
  • On motorways, the warning triangle must be set up at least 100 m from the scene of the accident.
  • Move injured people who can be moved to safety outside the danger zone.
  • Do not place yourself in danger.
  • Give first aid and attend to the injured.
  • Do not walk on the roadway.

Damage to your vehicle

Has your vehicle been damaged? Don't forget to do the following:

Document the accident
Don't move the vehicles - if possible, photograph the damaged vehicles from all angles.

Complete the European accident report

  • Don't forget to sign the reverse side.
  • Formulate your answers in an understandable way. Never accept that you alone are responsible.
  • Take down the names and addresses of witnesses.

Call the police

  • You must always notify the police if anyone has sustained injuries that will require medical treatment.
  • If any of the people involved is causing difficulties, you can insist on calling the police.
  • In you have any doubts, call the police.

Insurance

  • Report the damage to your insurance company immediately and only arrange for repairs to be made after your vehicle has been inspected. Always ask for a written estimate of the costs before having any repairs carried out.