What to do first if you are in a car accident

What to do first if you are in a car accident

If you find yourself in a car accident, this is what you need to do...

Vehicles after collision
Vehicles after collision/ iStock

There are roughly 2,200 crashes daily in South Africa, according to a News24 report published in 2022. 

The chances of being involved in an accident are not only dependent on you driving safely, but those around you doing the same. 

This is why it is important to know which steps to take in case you are in an accident. 

Stop your car

It is important for you to stop your car, regardless of how small or big the accident is, and check the damage. If you are involved in an accident with someone, take down their personal details such as ID number, car registration, etc. 

Get statements from other witnesses

When you are the one involved in the accident, you might miss certain details of what transpired. This is why it is crucial to get details you might have missed from others who saw the accident take place. 

Record as much information about the scene as possible

You will need to report the accident to the police. 

Apart from your personal details, you will be required to provide details of the person you are involved in the accident with. 

Write down the ID number, address, cell phone number, email, and licence disc details of the person you were involved in an accident with. 

Capture the date, time, and address of the accident. Also, take note of the weather and road conditions when the accident occurred. 

Take photos of the scene from different angles. 

READ: New proposed speed limits and laws for South Africa

Report the accident to the police

Depending on the type of accident and the severity, you might need to go to the police station or wait for the police to arrive on the scene. 

If you are injured or someone is injured, call an ambulance and then call the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene before leaving, unless your life is in danger. 

Give the police a report or statement about the accident. Remember to ask for a copy of the statement and write down the name of the police officer who helped you. Also, record the accident report’s reference number.

Do not move things

Do not tamper with things at the accident scene by moving or throwing away things. This can get you into trouble. 

Submit a claim with your insurance company

Lodge your claim with your insurance after opening the case at the police. 

Submit a claim with Road Accident Fund

Depending on the nature of the accident, you might receive payment from the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

READ: The common hotspot for accidents many forget about

More From Jacaranda FM

Follow us on social media:

Listen to Jacaranda FM: 

Image courtesy of iStock/ @Bilanol

Show's Stories