What to do after a car accident
Unfortunately, accidents do happen, but by following these steps you can ensure a smoother process after
No matter how safe and careful a driver you are, accidents do happen. Unfortunately, the chance of being involved in an accident, whether a bumper bashing or a more serious collision is a very real possibility on South Africa’s roads.
Doing your research on which cars have the best safety equipment when shopping for a new car as well as always ensuring your car is in a roadworthy condition and always using safety equipment such as seatbelts and properly installed child restraint systems will go a long way in keeping occupants safe in the event of a collision.
However, when an accident does happen, it is important to adhere to the following tips to ensure that you remain within the law and that your insurance claim is processed as efficiently as possible.
TIP: It is important to record all the events surrounding the accident as accurately as possible.
What to do at the scene of the accident
- Bring the car to a standstill and switch on your hazard lights.
- All vehicles involved in the collision need to remain on the scene.
- If you are not injured, check on your passengers as well as the driver and passengers of the other vehicles. If anyone is seriously injured, call an ambulance by dialling 112 from any cell phone network in South Africa.
- If any of the occupants or pedestrians has been injured, it is law that the vehicles remain in the position in which they came to a standstill until the police arrive on the scene.
- Using your cell phone record as much information about the accident as possible including photos, videos and notes of personal details and registration numbers.
- Once that is done and you get the clear from authorities move vehicles that are obstructing traffic out of the way.
- Be sure to record all the details of other drivers including names, contact details, vehicle details, drivers licence number and insurance information.
- If there were any independent eyewitnesses on the scene, record their details too.
- If your vehicle is damaged and needs to be towed only use a towing service that is authorised by your insurance provider.
Reporting the accident
- Report the accident to your nearest police station and your insurance company as soon as possible, where all the information recorded will come in handy.
- Accidents should be reported to the police station nearest the scene of the incident within 24-hours. You will be provided with a case number.
- When reporting the incident to your insurance company be sure to provide as much detail as possible. Inaccurate information could result in the claim being delayed or rejected.
Following these steps can help make an unfortunate situation more manageable and get you back on the road!
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