Minor road traffic collisions

Traffic Collisions

Where nobody is hurt

If you are involved in an road traffic collision with another vehicle and no-one is injured and the damage is only to the vehicles involved, there is no legal requirement to report this to the police, subject to the further guidance below.

You should however provide and obtain the following details for your insurance company

1) exchange your name, address and contact number with the driver of the other car and provide the details of who owns the car if it is not yours.

2) consider exchanging insurance company details with the driver of the other car as soon as practicable.

3) obtain any third party witness details if available

4 ) inform your insurance company as soon as possible that you have been involved in a collision, include details of all passengers or witnesses.

Your insurance company will review your claim and ultimately they will reach a decision of who is responsible for the collision. Reporting it to the police will make no difference to this and may delay any claim and incur expense to your insurance company.

Tip: IF IT IS SAFE TO DO SO take some photographs of the scene and the vehicles involved to pass to your insurance company, this can be done using the camera on a mobile telephone.


  • I crashed my car into another vehicle driving around the roundabout and this has resulted in someone being injured


  • Whilst driving my car I hit a bollard on the side of the road, damaging it

    Solution: Report accident to the police.

  • I hit my neighbours car whilst driving my car out of the driveway. No-one was injured

    Solution: There is no requirement to report this to the police, however you do still have legal obligations at the scene as outlined above.


Who deals with this?

Insurance company: Damage only accidents between vehicles do not require police involvement. Take a photograph of the damage and contact your insurance company. Take details of the vehicle driver and note their car registration number.


Further guidance

The law defines a reportable traffic collision as an accident involving a mechanically-propelled vehicle on a road or other public area which causes:

Injury or damage to anybody – other than the driver of that vehicle,

Injury or damage to an animal – other than one being carried on that vehicle (an animal is classed as a horse, cattle, ass, mule, sheep, pig, goat or dog),

Damage to a vehicle – other than the vehicle which caused the accident,

Damage to property constructed on, affixed to, growing in, or otherwise forming part of the land where the road is.

If they take place in a public place the police can investigate off-road collisions, for example, collisions in car parks which, because they are open to the public, are deemed public spaces.

If you are involved in a road traffic collision which meets the criteria of the definition above you have certain legal requirements:

Stop and remain at the scene for a reasonable time.

Give your name and address, vehicle registration number, and details of the owner (if different) to anyone with reasonable grounds for asking these details.

If you do not exchange those at the scene you must report the collision at a police station or to a police officer as soon as possible and within 24 hours in any case.

Where somebody is hurt

When someone is injured, you must report this to the police and:

Produce your certificate of insurance to anyone at the scene having reasonable grounds to see it.

If you don’t have your certificate with you, then you may take it to the police station when you report the incident (within 24 hours), this must be produced within 7 days.

You can find Northumbria Police stations by clicking on the following link: Northumbria Police Stations

The role of the police at the scene of an accident

To ensure the scene is safe and to prevent further collisions

To investigate and to record in appropriate cases the details of the collision

To remove as soon as possible damaged vehicles from the scene, if necessary the police may call a garage to recover your vehicle from the roadside, if this is done, any charges are payable by the owner of the vehicle, you can elect your own garage or the police will call one.

Dated: 04 Jul 2016