How to Make an Accident Report

Police may not respond to an accident scene if there are no injuries, so it's good to know how to make an accident report. Some jurisdictions issue accident report forms that you can keep in your vehicle. If you're in an accident but don't have a form, you can still write an accident report for the insurance company and police.


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    Make note of the date and time of the accident, the precise location it occurred and the weather conditions.
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    Write down your name, date of birth, the license plate number of your vehicle, the vehicle identification number, the make, model and year of your automobile. If possible, do the same for the drivers and all other vehicles involved in the collision.
    • The vehicle identification number, or VIN, is on the side the dashboard near the steering wheel. It is visible from outside the vehicle looking through the windshield at the bottom of the windshield. Stand outside, near the driver's front quarter panel, to locate the VIN.
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    Note the names of all passengers in all automobiles involved in the accident, being careful to note which passengers were in which vehicles.
    • Ask others involved in the accident politely to provide their name and contact information. If they are not cooperative, note the make, model, color and year of their vehicles, license plate numbers and tag expiration date. Note the gender of the driver, hair color, approximate age, height and weight and any distinguishing characteristics such as tattoos.
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    Write down the drivers' names, work and home addresses, work and home phone numbers, drivers' license numbers and expiration dates and where they were issued.
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    Write down insurance card information, including the relationship of the driver to the policy holder; the policy number; the company issuing the policy; and the name of the insurance agent, which should be on the card.
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    Write a description of the accident, including which vehicle or vehicles collided with which vehicle or vehicles, which direction the vehicles were traveling and how fast you were going.
    • Note where impact was made, such as front, rear, driver's front door, passenger front door, rear door behind driver, rear door behind passenger, driver-side front quarter panel, passenger-side front quarter panel or the rear quarter panels.
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    Note whether you were wearing a seat belt or not.
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    Call the police agency in charge of the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. Ask how to file the report.


  • Obtain a citizen's accident report form from your state or province's transportation department, local police or highway patrol. Keep the report form in your vehicle. You may be able to find a form by doing a web search for your state or province and "accident report form" or "collision report form." Librarians may be able to direct you where to obtain a form.
  • If you can't get a form from governmental authorities, do a web search for "accident report form," "generic collision report" or something similar and download and print out a generic form to carry in your car. If forms for your state are unavailable, print out and carry a collision report form from another state or jurisdiction, as the forms, and the information requested, are likely similar.
  • Make extra copies of your report, as you may have to file the report with your state or provincial government and insurance company in addition to the police agency that has jurisdiction.


  • Notify police if you smell alcohol on the other driver or drivers or if they seem intoxicated.
  • Be thorough in making your report, as injuries sometimes aren't apparent until after accident victims leave the scene.
  • You may have to file an accident report with the police agency within a certain number of days. If you're in an accident, call the police and ask how long you have to file the report.
  • Never admit fault to anyone at an accident scene.

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Categories: Injury and Accidents