Here at Old Mutual iWYZE we understand that a car accident is a traumatizing event - whether it’s a bumper bash or a serious crash.
With adrenaline pumping and emotions running high, it’s easy to become panicked and forget some of the important things to do right away.
By keeping a cool head and following the steps below, you will help to ensure the safety of everyone involved, and avoid potential issues with your car insurance claim later on.
1. Stop, check, call and assist
Never drive away from an accident scene. Even if it's a minor bump or not your fault, leaving an accident scene is a criminal offence.
Stop your vehicle on the shoulder of the road if possible and switch on your hazard lights to caution other road users. Only get out if it's safe to do so.nbsp;
If passengers or pedestrians are injured, call for medical services and the police immediately. Emergency services can be contacted on 112 on any South African cellphone. It’s a free call that doesn’t require airtime.
Assist injured people as far as you can, but don’t move them or administer first aid if you are not qualified.
2. Clear the road carefully
It’s better to leave the scene untouched, but if traffic is seriously interrupted, try to move vehicles and debris off the road. ONLY AFTER taking detailed photos of the scene.
3. Gather information
For insurance and legal purposes, it’s vital to get the right information from all other drivers, passengers and witnesses.
Remember to stay calm when talking to other parties involved – losing your cool or letting your emotions get in the way might affect your insurance claim later or land you in hot water with the law. You need to know:
• Full names and surnames
• ID numbers
• Home, cell and work telephone numbers
• Physical and email addresses
• License plate numbers
• Insurance company
• Names and details of the attending police officers, paramedics and tow truck operators
• Exact location of the accident (tip: mark it on your cellphone’s navigation app)
• The time and date
• Make a note of the ambient and road conditions – was it rainy or misty? Was there a pothole? Was the other driver under the influence? Note all contribution conditions.
4. Take photos and video
Photographic or video evidence can support your insurance claim immensely. Make sure to capture the whole scene from a wider angle, and also take close up photos of the damage on your car or any other important elements.
5. Report the accident to the police
All accidents must be reported within 24 hours – it’s the law. If you don’t report the accident and obtain a case number from the South African Police, you won’t be able to claim from your insurance. Besides that, it’s a criminal offence to not report an accident, even a minor one.
Always be truthful and provide as much detail as possible to police officers – whether they talk to you on the scene or at the police station.
6. Report the accident to your insurance company
If you are an Old Mutual iWYZE policyholder, you can phone 0860 939 493 to report the accident – we’ll walk you through the process every step of the way.
Even if you don’t plan on claiming, it’s still a good idea to report the accident to your insurance, in case the other party wants to claim against you.
Being involved in a car accident is a distressing experience. With Old Mutual iWYZE you can trust us to not only take care of your claim speedily and effectively, but also go the extra mile to assist you throughout the process. Get a quote and save on comprehensive and reliable car insurance today!
Underwritten by Old Mutual Insure Ltd (FSP12), an authorised FSP. Risk profile dependent. T's and C's apply.