“For governments to understand the scope of crashes, they first need to know these crashes even exist, and the only way to do that is to report them.”
–2nd Lieutenant Jason Long , Fairfax County Police Department
If you are involved in or a witness a crash, report the crash :
- Check to see if anyone is injured or if there is significant property damage. If so, call 911 immediately for emergency services.
- If you are trained, administer first aid.
- Remove the injured from harm’s way and assist until first responders arrive.
NOTE: Severely injured persons should not be moved.
- Anyone who renders emergency care or obstetrical services is exempt from liability, as noted in Virginia’s Good Samaritan law.
- Do not walk, drive, or ride away without first receiving medical attention, as injuries may materialize later.
- If you witness aggressive driving or are in a crash with no obvious injuries, contact police on the nonemergency number: Northern Virginia nonemergency numbers:
- Alexandria 703-746-4444
- Arlington 703-558-2222
- Fairfax City 703-385-7924
- Fairfax County 703-691-2131
- Falls Church City 703-248-5053
- Herndon 703-435-6846
- Leesburg 703-771-4500
- Loudoun County 703-777-0445
- Manassas City 703-257-8000
- Manassas Park City 703-361-1136
- Purcellville 540-338-7422
- Prince William County 703-792-6500
- Town of Vienna 703-792-6500
- Individuals involved in the crash should provide:
- Provide name, address, phone number, and email address
- Provide vehicle registration number
- Provide driver’s license number
- Provide name of insurance company and policy number
- Document what happened in writing and with photos, including any injuries or damage, as soon as possible.
- Contact your insurance company.
- Save all receipts and repair estimates.
- The Washington Area Bicyclist Association has useful resources:
- We’ve all had or witnessed heart-stopping events while driving, walking, or cycling.
- Alexandria Families for Safe Streets (AFSS) and Share VA Roads collect near miss data, which AFSS consolidates and shares with local staff and police in Alexandria and Arlington. Report A Near Miss or Incident to ShareVARoads and AFSS Near Miss Survey
- WABA also collects crash information to use in their advocacy: https://waba.org/advocacy/bicycle-crash-tracker/
It is important to notify and report unsafe conditions on sidewalks, paths, lighting, and roadways
- Contact VDOT or the city or town to report: 1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623) or https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/
- Some cities and towns maintain their roads, here are links to their issues. You can contact 311, seeclickfix.com/town, or go directly to the road maintenance links below:
- Alexandria https://www.alexandriava.gov/Potholes#StreetMaintenanceRepair
- Arlington https://transportation.arlingtonva.us/streets/street-maintenance/
- Fairfax City https://www.fairfaxva.gov/government/public-works/streets-division/street-maintenance#:~:text=If%20you%20have%20a%20concern,800%2D367%2D7623).
- Falls church city https://www.fallschurchva.gov/197/Paving
- Town of Herndon https://seeclickfix.com/web_portal/BP67ADyLGzTh1L6HU6isTbFi/report/category
- Leesburg https://www.leesburgva.gov/departments/public-works/street-sidewalk-maintenance
- Manassas Park https://seeclickfix.com/manassas-park; http://cityofmanassaspark.us/~cityofma/index.php/news/852-crews-schedule-work-on-potholes
- Vienna https://www.viennava.gov/index.aspx?NID=133
From the Driver’s Manual: Traffic Crashes
Learn more here
If you are involved in a traffic crash, you must:
- stop at the scene of the crash or as close to the scene as possible without blocking traffic. Drivers must move vehicles from the road immediately if the vehicles are able to be moved, no one is injured and the driver is capable of safely doing so.
- give any help you can if someone is injured. Do not attempt to move an injured person from a wrecked vehicle unless you have the necessary medical training or there is an immediate danger such as fire.
- report the crash to the police as quickly as possible. Motor vehicle crashes involving property damage, personal injury or death must be reported to the police.
- exchange information with other people involved in the crash as soon as possible. Be sure to get the following information:
- name, address and driver’s license number of other drivers
- license plate numbers of other vehicles
- name and address of anyone who was injured
- name and address of each witness
- name, address and insurance policy number of other vehicle owners
- notify your insurance company immediately.
Law enforcement officers are required to forward a written crash report to DMV when a traffic crash results in injury or the death of any person or total property damage is in excess of $1,500. All crash information will be recorded on the DMV records of each driver involved in the crash.
You must make a reasonable effort to find the owner of an unattended vehicle or other property damaged in a crash. If you cannot locate anyone, leave a note that can be found easily at the scene of the crash. Include your name, telephone number, the date and time of the crash, and a description of the damage. You must also report the crash to the police within 24 hours.