- Location: Oregon
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Being a safe driver doesn't guarantee that you won't have an accident, so it's a good idea to be prepared in case you do have one. The following are your responsibilities as a driver:
You don't want to block traffic, but you do want to stop as close to the accident scene as possible. Under no circumstance should you "hit and run," a violation that can get your driver's license suspended or revoked.
Check if anyone is injured and give them aid if necessary. Try not to move injured people. Most of the time, you want to wait until an ambulance arrives with certified first aid technicians. If anyone is unconscious or killed, you must wait for a police officer to arrive. Leaving the scene is considered a "hit and run" offense.
Give the other party of the accident the following information:
- License plate number
- Insurance company and ID number
- Driver's license number
Make sure to get this information from the other party, too. In case you forget what information you need, you can download and print a convenient checklist to keep in your vehicle.
There are certain situations where state law requires you to report an accident to the DMV within 72 hours of the accident. If your accident meets any of the following conditions, you must complete an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report:
- More than $1,500 of damage to your vehicle.
- More than $1,500 of damage to any vehicle involved in the accident and towing is required to remove a vehicle from the accident.
- More than $1,500 of damage to any person's property (not a vehicle).
- Injury or death because of the accident.
- Don't let other drivers convince you not to file a report, even if they offer to pay for damages. You must file a report if the damage is more than $1,500.
- If your car was the only vehicle involved in an accident, you still must report it if the damage is more than $1,500.
- If a police officer files a report, that doesn't mean you're off the hook. You still need to file an accident report if it meets the above criteria.
- In the event that you have an accident and do not have liability insurance, the DMV will suspend your driving privileges for one year. After that time has passed, you'll have to fill out a "proof of financial responsibility (SR-22)" form, which basically certifies you have purchased adequate liability insurance. Save yourself the hassle by making sure you have insurance before driving.
- Always keep a record of the accident report. By law, the DMV cannot give you a copy of your accident report.
Mail your accident report to your local DMV office or send it to:
- Accident Reporting Unit
- 1905 Lana Ave NE
- Salem, OR 97314