Car Accident Checklist: 8 Tips to Stay Prepared

Unfortunately, car accidents are rife in South Africa. We provide 8 top tips to keep in mind if you ever find yourself a victim.
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A car accident is always a chaotic event where emotions run high, even if it is a minor accident. Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters announced in his annual report last year that there had been over 4500 deaths on SA roads in the 2014/2015 period. He also went on to say that over 80 percent of these deaths had been adult males between the ages of 19 and 34. With the high rate of car accidents on the road, we need to ensure we are prepared for any scenario and to keep a clear head when others can't. Did you know? Pedestrians account for nearly half of road-related injuries. gdn-728x90

8 Tips to Remember If / When You Are in a Car Accident

  1. Call emergency or traffic services as soon as possible.
  2. Don’t try to move an injured person if you don’t have paramedic training.
  3. Never leave an accident scene until authorities arrive and give you permission to leave; according to the AA it is a crime. The exception of course would be leaving to get timely medical attention or if your safety is at risk.
  4. If anyone has reasonable grounds for asking for your vehicle registration and contact details, you need to supply these, and vice versa.
  5. Don't accept help from an unmarked tow truck operator. Call your official roadside assistance services immediately.
  6. You need to report the incident within 24 hours at the police station and supply your certificate of insurance within seven days.
  7. Be honest with authorities and medics, including information regarding how much alcohol or other substances you have consumed.
  8. Call your broker and car insurance company as soon as possible to ensure you have fulfilled all of their requirements for your own or third party claims.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Hitting the Road:

  1. Download the App provided by your insurance company. For example, Sanlam’s Incident Report or Drive In Centre Apps, or Hollard’s Unique . These Apps allow you to do everything from recording and sending license disc information to uploading photos of the incident, which can be attached directly to your car insurance claims report.
  2. Consider investing in a dash cam. This will record information at the scene of the accident to prevent claim repudiation or unjust finger pointing.
  3. Ensure you have the number of reputable roadside assistance services. Tow truck operators are notorious for swooping in and holding cars ransom for exorbitant release fees. Never release your car to just any tow truck operator.
  4. Wear your seatbelt and keep young children in car seats. It is the law and it is also safer.
  5. Check your tyre tread. Worn-down tyres cause accidents in slippery road conditions and can also cause your insurance claim to be repudiated.
  6. Let people know where you are headed and avoid driving alone on unfamiliar roads.
  7. Ensure your cellphone is fully charged with talk time and keep a car charger close at hand. Save emergency numbers on your phone.
  8. As a pedestrian, walk with the idea that most motorists don’t have your best interests at heart, because they don’t.
  9. Keep your car mechanically sound at all times.
  10. Get car insurance from a trusted provider. See below for more information on how you can save on your current premium or find the best deal suited to your lifestyle and wallet.