Current Affairs

Here’s what to do if you’re involved in a car accident

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You never think it can happen to you until it does.

In the event of a car accident, it is important to follow the correct steps to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

According to the report, 1 120 more people died on the roads last year compared to 2015, the highest annual road death toll since 2007. “Even though accidents are a frighteningly common occurrence on our roads, it’s scary how many people have no idea what to do after they have one,” said Budget Insurance’s spokesperson, Susan Steward.

The first thing to do after you are involved in an accident is to stop. “In an accident that causes injury and/or death or which causes damage to property, a person or any animal, you’re required by law to stop your vehicle,” said Steward.

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Photo: Supplied.
It is important to take the correct steps following a car accident to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

After you’ve stopped, and if you’re not badly hurt, you need to find out if others are injured. In this case, call emergency services. Do not try and help others yourself as this could make the injury worse. “If you think you’re seriously injured or even concussed, don’t attempt to move out of your vehicle. Unless there is an immediate danger, like smoke coming out of the car, rather wait for someone to help you.

Also, if someone is injured in the accident, the vehicles may not be moved before the police or traffic officer has arrived.”

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It is important to get all the relevant information at the scene and to give your information to the other party involved. The information that should be given includes your full name, ID number, address, telephone numbers, vehicle registration as well as descriptions of the vehicles, details of police and traffic officers and ambulance personnel and details of tow truck personnel.

“This information will assist you in claiming from insurance, from the Road Accident Fund as well as for the police case report. Damage to property aside, the speed of your reactions could well make a life and death difference.”

Following an accident it is important to follow these steps:

  • Stop your car, put on your hazards and make sure that everyone is fine. If someone needs medical help, call emergency services on 10111, 112 or 10177
  • Take photos of all damage to the vehicles and/or property
  • If possible, move the vehicles out of the road if they’re obstructing traffic
  • Exchange the following information: full names, ID numbers and contact details; vehicle registrations and descriptions; location and time of the accident; and the road and weather conditions
  • If your car isn’t drivable, call your insurer to get an approved tow
  • Report the accident to the police within 48 hours to get a case number. It is important to do this before submitting a claim.

(As seen in the Sandton Chronicle

 

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About the author

Mashudu Malema