31 May What to do if you have an accident?
We have children who have just obtained their learner licences and it’s an exciting time for them to get behind the wheel and learn how to drive. The same cannot be said for their parents! It is extremely nerve-wracking to see them drive off with an instructor, knowing that you cannot be there in the car with them. See our infographic at the bottom of the post.
South Africa has an annual road death toll that is significantly higher than the world average and so we need to train our children to drive proactively and be acutely aware of their surroundings. But, as they say in the classics, accidents happen, and when they do, you want to ensure that your children know exactly what steps to take to ensure that the situation is kept under control.
Stop the car, switch on your hazards to warn other vehicles and, if it’s safe to do so, get out of the car.
- It is important to note that you are required by law to stop if you are involved in an accident that causes damage to property or injury to other people. Failing to stop is a criminal offence.
- You can also be criminally charged for failing to help someone who has been hurt in an accident you are involved in, even if the accident was not your fault. Remember, however, that as much as you want to help injured people you should not administer first aid unless you are qualified to do so.
Call for help. At Apio, we encourage all our clients and their drivers to include the Emergency Roadside assistance number in their phones as a contact so its readily available in times of need
The Emergency assist team can assist with towing, calling an ambulance and the police if passengers, drivers or pedestrians have been injured.
- If your car is not drivable, don’t let the first tow truck on the scene take the car. The Emergency assist team will arrange the towing and will give you and their towing truck the authorisation number to pick up your car. In this way, you will not be out of pocket for any inflated towing and storage costs they might charge.
- If you do not have insurance, ask the tow truck driver for a written quote that shows the costs for the tow before your car is taken away.
If you don’t have tow cover with your insurance company ask the tow truck driver for a quote before your vehicle is towed away
Clear the road so that you do not obstruct the flow of traffic. Before moving your cars be sure to mark their positions on the road, you can do this by taking photographs of the scene.
- If a person or animal has been injured in the accident, we do suggest that you do not move anything, including the vehicles until the police arrive.
Assess the damages to your car. We suggest that you also take photos of the accident from as many angles as possible, as well as the damage to your car and any other cars involved.
Get the details of other drivers involved in the accident and witnesses too:
- Full Names and Surname
- ID numbers
- Home, cellphone and business numbers
- Physical addresses
- Email address
- Vehicle registration number and the vehicle make, model and colour
- Names and contact numbers for the officials who are on the scene (police, tow-truck drivers, paramedics etc)
Also, take note of what happens immediately before and after the accident, for example, was the other person driving too fast, talking on their cell, or do they appear to be under the influence.
Report the accident to the police within 24 hours. If you are injured or in hospital and cannot report the incident within 24 hours, do so as soon as you possibly can and explain why your report is delayed.
Report the accident to your Broker and they will help you with the process of claiming. In the case of an incident where there is no damage to your car, it’s important to report the incident anyway as the other party may wish to claim against you for their damages.
Lastly, you may feel dazed and confused at the time. Just take a moment to collect your thoughts, take a few deep breaths and try to remain as calm as you can.