Getting into a crash can be stressful and chaotic; it’s difficult to remember what to do immediately following a crash. Make sure you know the steps to take after a minor car crash (and what not to do!) so you can get back on the road safely.
If you are involved in or witness a crash where medical or police assistance is needed OR the vehicles are damaged and cannot be driven, call 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.
Tips Immediately following a Crash:
Stay Calm and Assess the Scene
- Keep your cool.
- Do not get out of your car if it is unsafe to do so.
- Turn on your hazard lights.
- Be courteous, ask drivers and others about their well-being and make sure that no one involved has been injured or is in need of medical attention.
Document the Scene
- Take photos of the license plate(s), make, and model of the vehicle(s) involved.
- Take photos of the other vehicle(s) damage.
- Take photos of your vehicle damage.
- Take pictures or document landmarks, street signs, or address markers to identify the crash location.
- Take pictures of any property damage or objects at the scene (debris, skids, fallen trees, etc.).
- Locate witnesses and document their names and contact information.
Move Your Vehicle
- Move vehicle(s) to help avoid a traffic jam and to keep yourself and your passenger(s) safe.
- Names of drivers and all passengers involved.
- Insurance information of all vehicles involved.
- Date and Time of crash.
- Protect your ID. DO NOT provide your driver’s license number or address.
Contact Your Insurer
- The District of Columbia is a “no-fault” car insurance jurisdiction. The DMV instructs drivers to notify their insurance company in the event of a crash.
Download a copy of the Non-Injury Crash Checklist and Guide to have and use in the event of a crash: