What should I do if I am involved in, or witness, an accident?


Accidents happen on German roads every day.

The usual causes of accidents are speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, tailgating and road rage.

Inexperienced drivers (especially young drivers), and elderly drivers are those most at risk.

What can you do?

  • If you are involved in an accident you are legally obliged to stop, even if you are not injured or your vehicle is not damaged. You are considered to be involved if your actions might in any way have contributed to the accident

  • If it is just a fender-bender, clear the vehicles to the side of the road

  • The site of the accident must be secured. Switch on your hazard lights and set up a warning triangle a sufficient distance from the accident

  • Leave your vehicle and wait a safe distance from it, off the road, behind the crash barrier

  • Call the police (toll-free on 110). If anyone is  seriously  injured also call toll-free 112 (fire and ambulance)

  • Give first aid

  • Be prepared to show your driver`s licence, car registration papers and  some form of identification (I.D.)

  • Report the accident as quickly as possible to your insurance company ( the police will give you a reference number which you should pass on to your insurer)

Tips for avoiding accidents

  • adjust your speed according to visibility, road, traffic and weather conditions. Do not overestimate your own driving abilities. Take the condition of your vehicle and load into consideration.

  • do not tailgate

  • do not drink and drive

  • if you are taking medication which can affect your operation of machinery or vehicles, do not drive

  • Expect other drivers to make mistakes

  • don`t insist on your right of way

What happens next

Normally you and your insurance company will deal with the aftermath of an accident without further police involvement.

If you caused the accident you may be given a formal warning and possibly be fined by the authorities.

If however the accident was in connection with a criminal offence (e.g. G.B.H., hit and run) the police will investigate and then turn the case over to the public prosecution service. In this case you might be asked to help the police with their enquiries.