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New Accident Record helps motorists collect relevant claims information

16 December 2015

Gocompare.com has produced an ‘Accident Record’ to help drivers collate information following a road traffic accident

Accidents happen – but a new survey reveals that only 42% of drivers who have been involved in a car crash felt confident about the information they needed to collect in relation to the incident - potentially missing vital information which could help with their insurance claim.

The findings come as Gocompare.com launches a new downloadable Accident Record to raise awareness of the legal responsibilities for drivers involved in a road traffic accident and help reduce some of the stress involved in such situations.

Commissioned by Gocompare.com, the survey questioned 1,350 motorists about road traffic accidents to see if they had a reasonable idea of what do to in the event of a crash.  Nearly a fifth (18%) of the drivers surveyed had been involved in an accident in the last five years.

The results revealed a big disparity between how confident drivers feel they would cope in dealing with an accident and how they actually did.

While most (73%) drivers thought if they had an accident they would know how to handle the situation, when it came to the crunch, only 42% of drivers who had experienced an accident said they knew what information they needed to collect, 16% admitted that at the time they couldn’t think what to do. 

Drivers who had been involved in an accident were asked about the action they took at the scene of the incident.  While most (80%) had remembered to exchange their name and contact details with the other party or parties involved in the accident, fewer drivers collected important information about the crash including damage to the other vehicle (53%), whether anyone in the other vehicle was injured (43%) and details of witnesses to the incident (27%).   

Action taken following an accident

All drivers (%)

Had an accident in last 5 years (%)

Exchange name and address with the other driver(s)



Exchange insurance details



Note down the details of the other vehicle (e.g. registration details, make and model)



Note the location of the accident and any landmarks



Make a note of the time of the accident



Note down any damage to the other vehicle(s)



Note if anyone in the other vehicle(s) was injured



Take photographs of the accident scene/vehicles



Make a note of the weather conditions at the time of the accident



Note how many passengers were in the other vehicle



Take down details of any witnesses to the incident



Take photographs of the road



Contact the police



Commenting on the research, Matt Oliver Gocompare.com’s car insurance spokesman said, “Accidents will always happen, but in the shock of the moment, it can be hard to know what to do.  So, it’s sensible to be prepared and have a reasonable idea of the actions you need to take.

“If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in a car accident, there are some steps you are legally required to take – you should stop, get help for anyone who is injured and exchange contact and insurance details with any other parties involved in the crash. You should also make your own notes of what happened and make sure you have contact details for any witnesses to the accident.  This will help your insurer assess your claim.”    

“Our ‘Accident Record’, which can be printed off and kept in your car, is designed to help take some of the stress out of a road traffic accident.  It outlines the key things drivers need to do and the information they need to gather about the accident to help with their car insurance claim.  Photographs of the crash scene are also very helpful when assessing an accident claim and nowadays most mobile phones have a camera.  So, if you can safely do so, take pictures of the accident scene including the vehicles involved and their position in the road.”  

Road traffic accidents - your legal responsibilities:

If you are involved in a road traffic accident, even if no other vehicle was involved and even if the accident wasn’t your fault, you should stop, turn your engine off and switch on your hazard warning lights.

If the damage to another vehicle or to someone else’s property is minor and no-one is injured, no offences were committed, no animal was involved and no roadside signage, street lamp or other ‘street furniture’ was damaged, then you are only legally required to exchange your name, address and vehicle registration number to the other party/parties involved.

However, in all other cases in addition to the above, you must:

  • Call an ambulance if someone has been hurt;
  • Call the police to attend or report the incident as soon as possible and within 24 hours of the accident/incident;
  • Where someone was injured you must produce your car insurance certificate to the police within seven days of the accident.

Insurance – do’s and don’ts:

  • Do contact your car insurer as soon as possible after an accident – regardless of whether or not you intend to make a claim.  Failure to do so could affect insurance.
  • Do collect as much information as possible about the accident.  Note down contact details of other driver(s) and witnesses to the accident, whether anyone was injured and details of the injuries sustained, damage caused to vehicles/property, the weather and visibility conditions, the time of day, and the location of the accident.
  • Do take photographs of the position and angle of the vehicles in the road and any damage to vehicles/other property.
  • Do note down details of police officers attending the scene.
  • Don’t feel obligated to discuss liability at the scene of the accident, this should only be discussed with the police and/or your insurer.

Gocompare.com’s ‘Accident Record’ can be found here.

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

*On 14 October 2015, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 1,350 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists and drivers.  The margin of error – which measures sampling variability – is +/-2.2%.  The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of the United Kingdom.  Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.