Accident - Copyright: Dmitry Kalinovsky

Your Responsibilities

Fleeing the scene of an accident, a hit-and-run, is a serious crime in all states, including District of Columbia.

If you are involved in a crash or collision, stop immediately and try not to panic.

If there are no injuries or death, move your vehicle off the roadway and stop safely on the shoulder. Leaving your car in a traffic lane or busy intersection may cause additional accidents or injuries. Turn on emergency flashers. Use flares or warning triangles, if you have them. Be careful with flares, if there is a gasoline leak or fumes.

Turn off the ignition of all wrecked vehicles.

If you stop away from the scene of the accident, return immediately, but avoid walking or standing in traffic lanes. Remember to keep safety first.


If someone is injured, you must call for professional help. The easiest way is to call 9-1-1. Make sure you know where you are and be ready to answer questions and provide information about any injuries and how many people need help. Until professional help arrives, you must give as much aid as possible.

Do not move an injured person, unless there is an immediate danger, such as a car fire.

Try to stop any bleeding and keep the injured person warm.


You must show your driver’s license, vehicle registration certificate, and insurance card. Provide your name and current address to the other driver or persons involved, or to any peace officer.

Proof of insurance or evidence of financial responsibility is basically needed in all states. Make sure you always have it with you when you drive.

Take Notes

If you have a camera, or a cell phone with camera, use it.

Things you should write down:

  • Driver’s date of birth.
  • Driver’s license number and state.
  • Driver’s name and address.
  • Vehicle license plate number and state.
  • Driver’s insurance company name.
  • Policy number and expiration date.
  • Policy holder’s name and address.
  • Vehicle owner’s name and address.
  • Injuries or property damage.