What to do after a cab accident

The work of a taxi driver can be interesting and very lucrative. But when it comes to life behind the wheel, traffic accidents are an all-too-common occupational hazard. Indeed, according to government statistics from 2021 there were over 127,000 casualties as a result of road traffic accidents in Great Britain.


These included 1,560 people killed and over 25,000 seriously injured.


Whether you’re new to the taxi game or a seasoned professional driver, the likelihood is that at some point in your career you’ll be involved in an accident.


Okay, that is a scary thought. But what can you do to calm those fears? Well, knowing what to do after an accident in your cab has got to be at the top of the list.


Read our guide on what to do to ensure you, your cab and your passengers are kept safe.


It’s important to keep in mind that the choices you make in the first few minutes after an accident can have a big impact on the outcome. Leave nothing to chance, read our helpful guide and get informed now.


After you’ve done that, remember the best way to protect yourself from the fallout from accidents is to have the right monthly taxi insurance perfect for your particular taxi business. From MPVs and minibuses to executive cars, Taxi Insurer’s specialist team is sure to find a bespoke monthly taxi insurance policy suited to you and your circumstances.


Stop your cab as soon as it’s safe to do so


Let’s get this straight: continuing on your journey without stopping is not an option. Even if your passenger is desperate to get to their destination, you really have to stop. Whether or not it’s ‘just’ a minor bump or scrape it’s vital to stop your cab after a traffic accident.


If you don’t, you could be prosecuted for failing to stop under road traffic legislation. An offence for which, if you’re found guilty, you could receive a substantial fine, points on your licence, disqualification from driving or even a potential prison sentence of up to six months. It could easily put an end to your taxi driving career.


That said, this doesn’t mean you have to screech to a halt in the middle of the road. You must try to make sure you choose a safe spot that won’t cause an obstruction or danger to other road users. On Britain’s busy roads this is easier said than done. A layby is often the best place if one is close at hand.


Take a breath and keep calm


You don’t need us to tell you how frightening even a minor road accident can be. But as a professional driver it’s important for you to remain as calm as possible. Particularly if you have a passenger on board, they will be looking to you for guidance and reassurance.


Traffic accidents come in all shapes and sizes, and depending on what has happened you could certainly be feeling upset and shaky. Before dealing with the fall-out from the accident, why not take a few moments to take a couple of deep breaths to keep yourself in control of the situation.


It’s all too easy to forget the basics when you’ve been involved in a crash. Make sure to turn off the engine and turn on your hazard lights. Alerting other road users to the accident will help stop a bad situation from becoming worse.


No matter what happens, don't lose your temper. You could do irreparable damage to your professional reputation if you get involved in a heated argument with another driver about whose fault it was.


Keeping your temper in check now means you'll be far better able to make the best decisions for all concerned. You can complain about nightmare drivers later. y


For now, you have to stay calm and professional. Your passengers will thank you for it.


It might go without saying, but stop anyone from smoking. If there’s a fuel leak it could be disastrous to light up.


Check for injuries - your passengers are your responsibility


2 passengers in a cab


In any accident situation your number one priority has to be the health and safety of your passengers. After all, you’re paid to ensure they get to their destination safely and in one piece.


Taxi cabs are an expensive item and you’ll no doubt be concerned about damage to such an important part of your livelihood. However, no matter what damage has been suffered, you can always get it repaired later. That isn’t the case with injuries to you or your passengers.


So, first check everyone is okay. Then find out if everyone is capable of getting out of the cab. Unless an injured person is in immediate danger or in need of resuscitation, don’t try to move them.


If it’s safe to do so, ask your passengers to get out of the vehicle and move to a safe place away from the road. Hi-vis jackets are always worth putting on before getting out of the vehicle. There have been too many stories about people who have survived an accident, only to then be hit by another vehicle while waiting at the side of the road.


Warn passengers to be careful of drains, ditches, barriers or other potential hazards at the side of the road. Try to ensure they exit the vehicle on the side furthest from traffic.


When there’s poor visibility or you’re on a busy road this is of particular importance. Even when the passengers have left the cab, you still have a duty of care towards them.


Once you’ve checked that you and your passengers are safe, you can also check if anyone else involved needs help. Be aware that you need to be particularly aware of casualties who don’t appear to be making any noise, they might not be breathing. In which case, they need to be a priority.


Never remove a motorcyclist’s helmet unless you really have to. For example, if they’re not breathing.


Call for help if necessary


If anyone is injured or trapped in the vehicle then you need to call the emergency services immediately. If there’s no need for an emergency response, then call the police on 101 instead.


You’ll also need to call the police if the accident is causing an obstruction and you can’t move it. A further reason to call the police is if you suspect you’ve been the victim of a crash for cash scam or you think there’s other foul play involved.


After calling for help you’ll need to await the arrival of the emergency services. Hopefully they won’t be too long. Leave on your hazard lights to make other road users aware of the accident. If you have a warning triangle, and it’s safe to do so, then place it at least 45 metres behind your vehicle on the same side of the road.


As long as those involved in the accident have stopped and exchanged details, unless anyone is injured you don’t have to report it to the police.


And if the other driver leaves without giving you their details? Then call 999 straight away and give the police as much information about them and their car as possible.


Exchange details with other drivers


If anyone has been injured or there is damage in any way then it’s important to exchange details with everyone involved in the accident. That said, if no one is injured or there doesn’t appear to be any damage then make a note of this, too – just in case someone later tries to sue you for personal injury or property damage.


When it’s safe to do so, exchange details with the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident. This will include your name, address, vehicle registration and insurance information.


Sometimes the driver may not be the registered owner of the other vehicle. If they aren’t, then ask for the details of who is. Also make a note of the details of any passengers or others who may have witnessed the accident.


As someone who drives for a living then it’s useful to know what to do if you’re involved in an accident with a foreign lorry. Carefully note down the number plate of both the trailer and the cab, as sometimes these don’t match.


A foreign driver may have a ‘Green Card’ that you’ll need to see. This validates their insurance cover for driving in other countries. Make a note of the card’s reference number and any other details printed on it.


When speaking with others involved in the accident don’t immediately apologise or admit responsibility for the accident. This can be a natural reaction, but may cause problems further down the road. The accident might not have been your fault, but apologising now could harm your claim later.


Other people involved in an incident may be upset or behave aggressively. So, try to be as reasonable and gently spoken as possible when asking for personal details or insurance information. You staying in control may be all that’s needed to diffuse a tense situation.


If you’re worried, read our Taxi Insurer guide to how to deal with road rage as a cabbie.


But what happens if you’ve hit a stationary vehicle and there’s no one else around to swap details with?


You can’t just drive off; you should try to leave your details somewhere nearby. Perhaps on the windscreen or at a nearby address. Be warned, if a witness or CCTV camera sees you but you drive off, you could end up in trouble with the authorities.


It might not always be safe or possible to stop and exchange details. If that is the case then you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours.


Finally, what if you hit an animal rather than another vehicle. Well, the law says that if you hit a dog, horse, pig, goat, sheep, donkey, mule or cattle then you must also stop and report this to the police. This must happen as quickly as possible, whether the animal is dead or not.


Currently, cats are not covered by these provisions. But most drivers would still try to do the decent thing and try to report the accident to the owner. If the owner isn’t nearby or there’s no contact details on a collar, then take the animal to the nearest vet or call the RSPCA. They will be able to check the animal for a microchip to trace the owner.


Document the scene of the accident


The next task you need to complete is to record as much information about the accident as possible.


Details worth recording include:


  • Make, model, colour, and vehicle registration of all vehicles involved.
  • Time, date and location of the crash.
  • A sketch or photo showing the positions of the vehicles involved.
  • Driving conditions. In particular, any unusual weather, lighting, and road conditions.
  • Any relevant road markings or road signs.
  • List of damage caused to the vehicles or property.
  • List of any injuries to drivers, passengers, or pedestrians e.g., whiplash injuries
  • Tyre marks or other debris from the collision.
  • The circumstances leading up to the crash, including any traffic light colours, indicator signals or warning given.
  • Any statements made by other people involved.
  • The names and contact details of any independent witnesses.


If you have a camera or smartphone to hand then taking photos of all the vehicles involved in the accident, the positions of the vehicles and any obvious damage will also be useful.


Something that could prove invaluable when you’re involved in an accident is having a dash cam or CCTV in your taxi. When you’re already juggling maintenance costs and monthly taxi insurance premiums you might think this is an investment too far. But think again. If an accident happens, you’ll be pleased to have footage to back up your version of events.


The best dash cams not only record the road ahead but also what’s behind you and even inside the cab itself. If you’re interested in the best dash cams on the market in 2022 then read this helpful guide from the tech geeks over at Digital Camera World.


Anything to help you give your insurance company as much information about the accident as possible.


Call your insurer


london taxi blurred


When you’ve had a minor scrape and you’re in a hurry you might just want to get on with the rest of your working day. However, even if you don’t intend on making a claim on your monthly taxi insurance policy it’s still worth calling your provider before driving off. Or at least as soon as you can after the accident.


Indeed, failing to contact your insurer within the time period set out in your policy may even invalidate your cover. This could potentially leave you with a big bill to pay if a claim needs to be made later.


In the heat of the moment, you may have forgotten to do something crucial that could prove vital later on if you do decide to claim. An experienced insurance call handler might be able to give you that key piece of advice that could save the day.


Obviously not all taxi insurance companies are the same. And not all policies those companies offer are the same. How long you have to file an insurance claim after an accident can vary considerably, from 2 days to 2 weeks! As part of your taxi business management, make sure you always check the wording of your insurance policies carefully.


This is also important to do as the insurance claims process for an accident can vary depending on the cause, the type of damage, and whether anybody was injured or not.


Call the experienced team at Taxi Insurer regarding any questions about the claims process for your monthly taxi insurance.


Get your taxi checked out by a professional mechanic


Your taxi cab is your livelihood and if it develops problems as a result of the accident then it’s going to seriously affect your earnings. As soon as possible after any accident, it’s a good idea to get a trusted professional to give your cab the once over. There could be mechanical problems or damage to the interior or exterior that you haven’t yet noticed. The quicker you discover this the better.


When it comes to insurance claims, it’s always better to get one started sooner rather than later to avoid any potential issues down the line.


Leaving such important matters for another day is never a good idea. But when finances get tight it can be an easy habit to get into. Paying for cover by way of a monthly taxi insurance plan can make insurance costs more manageable alongside your other expenses. By paying for monthly taxi insurance, you can spread the cost throughout the year, so you don’t need to suddenly find a big cash sum.

Protecting your cab with monthly taxi insurance cover


Avoiding an accident in your taxi cab has to be your number one aim. But at some point, despite your best efforts and through no fault of your own you may end up in an accident.


When your working life takes you on the road so much, it’s impossible to rule everything out. That’s why, from busy city streets to quiet rural lanes you’ll want the best cover for your vehicle.


Using our panel of insurers, we’ll search out the monthly taxi insurance, tailored to your vehicle, needs and budget.


Our monthly taxi insurance cover can include benefits such as:


  • Unique rates for public and private hire
  • Low deposits and monthly payments available
  • Discounts for DSA taxi test (with some insurers)
  • Comprehensive cover
  • Third Party Fire & Theft cover
  • Third Party only cover available
  • Public Liability
  • Employers’ liability


Call the Taxi Insurer team and get a quote for monthly taxi insurance today.