This post was published on 19 February, 2016

Being involved in a car accident can be a shocking and stressful experience – hearing the sickening crunch of your vehicle against another’s, and feeling the panic that most often follows directly afterwards. That’s why it’s important to know what to do after an accident, and the correct procedure to follow, in order to ensure you remain clear-headed and in control at all times.

Plan ahead by bookmarking this page to refer to in the event of a vehicle collision, or print our handy checklist for your convenience.

What to do if you are involved in a car accident – a step-by-step guide

  1. Stop, secure, stay calm
  2. Ask for help
  3. Take down important details
  4. Take pictures of the scene
  5. Know your rights
  6. Make a car insurance claim

1. Stop, secure, stay calm

  • The first and most important step in the case of a car accident is to immediately STOP your vehicle – particularly if you or a third party may be injured. Driving away from the scene of an accident is a criminal offence.
  • Once you have stopped your car, you will need to secure the scene by putting on your hazards to alert other drivers, and even setting out a safety triangle if you have one. You will also be able to assess the extent of the damage at this time, as well as any injuries to yourself or a third party.
  • Finally, ensure you are in as calm a frame of mind as you can be. You may be in shock, so sit in your car for a few minutes breathing deeply, and gathering your thoughts.

2. Ask for help

  • When you are calm enough to do so, you will need to call the police and inform them of the accident. This is particularly important if you think someone may be injured, or if the accident has been a serious one. .
    • NB: If you have only been involved in a minor car accident, with no injuries and minimal damage to both vehicles, you may leave the scene without informing the police – however you will need to report the incident within 24 hours so as to receive a case number for insurance purposes. If the third party involved leaves without exchanging details with you, you must call the police, as this is a criminal offence.
  • As an Old Mutual iWYZE car insurance policy holder, you automatically have free access to our Road and Emergency Services. In the event of a car accident, you will be able to access Road and Emergency Services by calling iWYZE Call Centre on 0860 93 94 93. We will then make arrangements for an approved tow truck driver to meet you, and transport your vehicle to the nearest iWYZE-approved panel beater. Unless your claim is rejected later, all towing and storage costs will be for our account.
  • Should you need to call a family member or friend for additional support, you can call them directly.


3. Take down important details

Once you have informed the necessary emergency services and Old Mutual iWYZE of your car accident, you will need to exchange various details with the third party involved. It is important at this time that you do not admit blame of any kind, even if you suspect the accident may be your fault – this is the job of the insurance assessor to determine once an investigation into the incident has begun.

As you will need to take down various details from the third party, it’s a good idea to keep a pen and paper in your car for this purpose. Alternatively, you can record the details on your smart device. For insurance purposes, you will need to take down:

  • The third party’s name, ID number, street address, home and cell phone numbers, and insurance details. Make sure you call the cell phone number you are given immediately, to ensure that it is correct. You will also need to furnish the third party with these same details of your own.
  • Any circumstances you feel may have contributed to the car accident, such as the third party talking on their cell phone, not paying attention, or perhaps even drinking.
  • The date, time and place of the car accident.
  • The make, model, colour and registration number of the third party’s vehicle.
  • The details of the owner of the vehicle, if they are not the driver, such as name, address, and home, work or cell phone numbers.
  • The names and addresses of any witnesses.
  • The name of the police or traffic officer who arrives, and the name of their police station.
  • The name and cell phone number of the iWYZE tow truck driver who arrives, as well as the name of the panelbeater they will be towing your car to.


4. Take pictures of the scene

Next you will need to record the details of the actual accident scene for insurance purposes, as your recollection of the incident may be fuzzy at a later stage.

    • If you have a smartphone take pictures of the scene, and record them for car insurance claim purposes. You will need to ensure you take pictures of:
      • The layout of the road at the time of the incident
      • The position of both vehicles involved
      • Any skid marks on the road
      • The collision points on both vehicles
      • The damage to both vehicles
      • The third party’s license plate number

Once you have taken the necessary photographs, you will be able to submit them to iWYZE, along with any other relevant information pertinent to your claim.

  • Alternatively, you may make a sketch of the scene, recording the relevant details as above.


5. Know your rights

While you are recording the incident and exchanging information with the third party, you may be aware of a number of tow truck drivers arriving on the scene, some of whom may become overly assertive in the hopes of securing your business. Should you feel uncomfortable or intimidated, it’s important to know your rights in this situation:

  • No tow truck operator or police officer has the right to make you decide on a specific provider.
  • If you feel intimidated by a police officer into choosing a specific tow truck driver, you can report them to the nearest police station. Make sure to take down their name before doing so.
  • Tell the tow truck drivers that you have reported the car accident to Old Mutual iWYZE, and that an approved service provider is on their way.
  • Remember that it is the responsibility of the police department to remove any obstructions to ongoing traffic in the event of a collision; ensure that the tow truck drivers do not overstep their bounds in this regard.


6. Make a car insurance claim

  • Once you have taken down the necessary information, taken the relevant pictures, have seen your vehicle safely towed, and have a case number from SAPS for the incident, you will need to make a car insurance claim.
  • You will also be able to make a car insurance claim by:
    • Submitting your claim online
    • Calling us on 0860 93 94 93
    • Sending us an email with details of your policy or ID number
    • Or SMSing “CLAIM” to 33771
  • Should you receive any insurance claims from the third party, make sure to pass all correspondence on to the iWYZE team, so that we can manage the process fully.

Get the help you need with the iWYZE mobile app

Ultimately the most important step to take in the event of a car accident is to remain as calm as possible throughout. It’s here that the Old Mutual iWZYE website can help. Simply visit iWYZE Tips & Tools page onto your smartphone or device, if you haven’t done so already, and you’ll instantly have quick and easy access to all the tools and resources you need to assist you. Visit the iWYZE blog, and ensure you have all the support you need to see you safely through life’s more challenging circumstances.

Terms and conditions apply. Please note that the content displayed on this site is for information purposes only and does not replace our policies’ terms and conditions. The policy wording supersedes any marketing material. Any claim will be considered against the terms and conditions that apply at the time of claim and as set out in out customers’ policy documentation.