Car accident: Here’s what to do

Statistics have indicated that 1 120 more people died on the roads in 2016 than in 2015.. This is the highest annual road death toll since 2007. File photo.

With 1 120 more people dying on SA roads in 2016 than in 2015 (the highest death toll since 2007), it’s very concerning how few South Africans seem to know exactly what to do after an accident.

This is according to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) which recently released its annual road fatality statistics for 2016.

“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 Susan Steward, Budget Insurance’s spokesperson.

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,” she said.

“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 them 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,” said Susan.

Make sure to get all the relevant information at the scene and to give yours to the other party involved. This includes full names; ID numbers; addresses; telephone numbers, vehicle registrations as well as descriptions of the vehicles; details of police and traffic officers, and ambulance and tow-truck personnel.

“This information will assist you in claiming from insurance and the Road Accident Fund, and is also required for the police case report,” explained Susan.

According to Budget Insurance, the most important thing to do in an accident is to stay calm and stick to these steps:

• Stop your car, put on your hazard lightss and make sure that everyone is OK. If someone needs medical help, call emergency services on 10111, 112 or 10177. If nobody is injured, move straight to the next point.

• 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 road and weather conditions.

• If your car isn’t driveable, call your insurer to get an approved tow.

• Report the accident to the police within 48 hours to get a case number. Do this before submitting a claim.

“Damage to property aside, the speed of your reactions could well make a difference between life and death,” concluded Susan.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at randfonteinherald@caxton.co.za  (please remember to include your contact details in the email) or phone us on 011 693 3671.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites

Roodepoort Record

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

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  AUTHOR
Clinton Botha
Editor

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