What to do if you have a vehicle traffic accident

These SOS call boxes help you connect immediately with local emergency services if you need assistance. Courtesy Photo.

Important Phone Numbers

  • USAG Stuttgart Military Police: DSN: 431-3102/3095 or civ. 07031-15-3102/3095.
  • German Police: 110
  • Ambulance: 112

1. Above all, do not leave the scene of the accident. “Hit and run” is a serious criminal offense. If you leave the scene of an accident, or move your vehicle, your insurance company may deny coverage.

2. Take necessary emergency steps. If someone is injured, call for medical assistance and make sure that oncoming traffic is warned by placing a warning triangle 100 meters from the scene of the accident. Use your first-aid kit if needed.

3. Call the police. If the accident occurs on-post call the Military Police immediately. If the accident occurs off-post, you must notify the German police, who may or may not respond to non-injury accidents.

Additionally, you must report accidents that occur off-post to the Military Police within 72 hours. This will help you later if you have to appear in court, or if your insurance company needs more information. Whether or not the police respond, be sure to take all steps in the next paragraph.

4. Get information from other drivers involved in the accident. Get the names, nationalities, ages, license numbers, vehicle registration numbers, as well as the names and addresses of the insurance companies and the insurance policy numbers of other drivers involved. Give other drivers the same information about you. Get names and addresses of witnesses, especially those who may testify in your favor.

5. Write down the facts/take photos surrounding the accident. Draw a diagram of the positions of the vehicles involved, the directions the vehicles were traveling, points of impact, and any other relevant information, such as the positions of traffic signs and signals near the scene. Take pictures of the accident scene and of vehicle damage if possible.

6. Cooperate with the police, but be careful what you say. Cooperate fully with local and military police. The police report may be important later as evidence in determining the fault. Give yourself time to formulate answers to police questions; if you are not careful, you may say something that could be used against you later. Cases have occurred, for example, in which comments such as “I’m sorry this happened” have been used in court as an admission of guilt.

Download this informational Accident Cheat Sheet to keep a copy in your vehicle(s) just in case. Drive safe!