Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of being in a car accident and will probably never forget the details of the experience, (you know, that sudden thud, the flash of light bouncing off the metal, the tyres screeching or the shattering of glass!
But few of us know what steps to follow immediately after the incident. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to keep calm and follow the nine steps below.
It doesn’t matter if it is a major or minor accident make sure you stop your vehicle at the scene. It is illegal to drive away.
2) Turn on your hazards
3) Check for injuries
Make sure everyone in the car with you is not injured. Then check the driver and passengers in the other car.
4) If anyone is injured, call 10111 for assistance
Remember to give the operator as much detail about the location of the accident scene.
5) Move the vehicle out of harm’s way
If there are no serious injuries talk to the other driver and discuss moving away from the scene.
- In the case of injuries: Both vehicles need to remain at the scene to allow the police to do conduct an investigation. In this case it would be wise to put up a warning triangle or beacon in order to warn other vehicles on the road. Both drivers at this point should document the scene as is.
- In the case of no serious injuries: To make sure you avoid any more accidents, turn on your hazard lights and move to a place where you can get out the car safely
6) Exchange information with the other driver/s
- Names of driver and passengers
- Licence plate number
- Contact details of those involved
- Makes and model of cars involved
- Contact details of any eyewitnesses
- Insurance company information
7) Take pictures
If you have a camera phone take pictures of the scene and the damage as well as the licence plate of the car/s involved.
This will come in handy when making insurance claims, and in the case of an investigation.
8) Take down the details of the accident
Make sure you know all of the details that may be necessary when claiming rom the insurance company:
- Description of the car/s involved in the accident, including: Model, number plates, year colour and the visible damage.
9) Report the accident to the police
Make sure you do this within 24 hours of the accident. This not only is useful in the case of an investigation, but also this will be needed for when you claim back from your insurance company.