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Car accident – what now? This checklist will guide you.

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Do you know what to do in the event of a road accident? Many road users are unsure of what to do in an emergency. Our checklist contains all the important steps – in the right order.

1. Stop the vehicle

  • Switch on your hazard warning lights and your headlights (dipped).
  • If you are using a freeway (motorway, Autobahn), immediately drive onto the hard shoulder if at all possible.
  • Put on a high-visibility vest on 
  • Go to a safe place away from the highway.

2. Assess the situation

  • Are you unhurt? Are you feeling alright?
  • How many vehicles were involved in the accident? Note the types and locations of the vehicles.
  • Has anyone been injured?
  • Is there a danger of fire or explosion; are hazardous goods involved?

3. Secure the accident site

  • Set up your warning triangle at least 50 meters from the site of the accident, or if the traffic is moving quickly, at least 100 meters away.
  • It is not permitted to move anything at the scene of the accident unless this is essential in order to protect injured people or for the safety of other road users.
  • Do not step back onto the road.

4. Give first aid

  • Remove injured persons from the danger zone.
  • Provide first aid, using the first-aid kit in your car.

5. Alert the emergency services

  • Call the police (117), the ambulance service (144) or, in case of fire, the fire department (118). In the EU, the emergency number is 112.
  • Indicate your precise location. Freeway (motorway, Autobahn): Number, direction of travel, kilometers, last junction or exit).

6. Attend to the injured

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

7. Document the damage to the vehicle

  • If possible, photograph  the damaged vehicles from all sides. When doing so, however, never put yourself and others in danger. 

8. Report vehicle damage

  • If you were personally involved in the accident, report the damage to your insurance company as soon as possible. If you are insured with AXA, you can find more information on claims reports here.

Download the checklist now and put it straight in your car!

How to fill out the European Accident Report form:

  • Make clear statements.
  • Never assume all the blame.
  • Note the names and addresses of witnesses.
  • Sign on the front.
  • If in doubt or if you are having trouble with people involved, insist on calling the police.

If you forget any of these things, you could be liable for a fine abroad:

• No CH sticker on your car; fine in Italy of up to EUR 400

• No high-visibility vests for passengers: fine in Austria of up to EUR 150

• No replacement bulbs: fine in France of up to EUR 180

• Incorrect tire profile or pressure: fine in Germany of up to EUR 200

• Breaking the speed limit: penalties in the EU have been raised

  • Teaser Image
    What special rules are there in other European countries?

    See films and other useful tips on Italy, France, Spain and Germany.

    Go to tips

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