Accidents are every motoristís worst nightmare. Countless
crashes occur on South African roads daily. High traffic volumes in urban areas
and hazards such as potholes and un-roadworthy vehicles, mean the chances of
being involved in an accident are higher.
Avoiding crashes comes down to many factors: driver
alertness being the most important. In the unfortunate event that you are
involved in an accident we have put together a beginnerís guide to assist you
through the doís and doníts.
According to Section 61 of the National Road Traffic Act (93
of 1996), a driver is obliged to do the following when involved in an
the vehicle immediately
if any of your passengers are injured
medical assistance for any injuries
your details to anyone on the scene who has grounds for needing them
the accident at a police station within 24 hours of the incident
not consume any drugs or alcohol after the accident unless prescribed by a
Letís examine each of these points: ∑
the vehicle immediately. It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident,
so if the crash hasnít forced you to come to a stop, stop immediately and
as safely an area as possible.
calm and determine whether you or any of your passengers are injured. If
any injuries are severe, do not try and remove anyone from the vehicle,
leave this to the paramedics.
Try and make the accident scene as safe as possible. Put on
your hazard lights and set up a warning triangle at least 100m from the scene
of the accident. If you are in a particularly dangerous spot, move away from
the wreckage quickly to avoid further accidents.
for help as soon as you can. The type of assistance needed will depend on
the severity of the crash, but you should always call the police. If there
are injuries, call an ambulance and paramedics immediately.
your insurance provider and report the accident. They will advise which
towing service to use, if the vehicle needs to be towed, as well as what
you need for a claim; for example, where the vehicle should be taken for
Be careful of using a towing service that is not approved by
your insurer, because you will be liable the cost of the service.
the damage and take photos of all vehicles involved as well as the scene
of the accident and surroundings. You will need to reconstruct the
accident scene at the police station and for your insurance provider. Make
sure you know the street names, the position of the vehicles involved, and
other details like the date and time. These details will also become
important if it becomes a legal matter.
details with the other parties involved. Make sure you get all the other
partyís details including their phone, ID number and driverís licence
details, vehicle details and address as well as vehicle ownership details
if they are not the owner of the vehicle.
Give the same information to the other party or parties, as
you will both need them for the accident reports and insurance claims. If need
be, take photos of their ID book and/or driverís licence. Verify their
cellphone number on the spot by giving them a call. Speak to any witnesses and
also get their details.
not admit liability. Regardless of whose fault the accident was, do not
admit to anything. Admission of guilt can become a legal issue.
will need to report the accident at a police station within 24 hours of
the incident, and you will need to do this in the vicinity of the crash.
Take your driverís license, ID book and the other partyís details with
you, as you will need to note all of this information.
NB: you will not be able to proceed with an insurance claim
without a case number from the police. In case you need it, you should also
make a copy of the completed report after you have signed it; it will be
difficult and costly to try and get a copy once it enters the system.
the 7 steps listed in this blog article in a book or piece of paper in your
is extremely important that you donít consume narcotics or alcohol after
the accident. You may be tested and even if you did not consumer either
before the crash but after, you will test positive and this will reflect
not ignore your injuries. Even if itís a small bumper bashing, you should
go to hospital for a check-up. Injuries like internal bruising and
whiplash might only become apparent a few days or weeks after a