What to do if your car is involved in an accident

What to do after car accident: BY INSURE AFRIKA: What should you do in the event of a vehicle crash? This is the question we seek to answer here..

Dont rush to get out of your car

First, your car needs to be immobilised before you leave the controls. Otherwise, you may worsen the situation and increase your repair bill, something you auto insurance provider will not like. Secondly, you should be wary of gangsters who cause minor accidents in order to rob other motorists. The only exception to this rule is if there is another immediate danger such as an open fire or smoke coming from any of the cars involved in the accident.

Check if you are alright

Check for signs of blood, and for any pain that may indicate a fracture or soft tissue damage. If you have knocked your head, beware of a concussion. Any signs of dizziness mean that you need to get quick medical attention.

Put your hazard lights on

Before stepping out of your car, shut the engine, apply the handbrake and put on your hazard lights.

Make contact with the other driver

Realise that the other driver is also tense, and how you make contact will determine whether you end up with a shouting contest or an amicable solution. Whether you feel you are not to blame, do not spook the other driver. First, show concern for the driver and the safety of his passengers before talking about the car. If he needs urgent help, you are best placed to facilitate it. If you are the culprit, your third party cover from your motor insurance provider is meant for the benefit of other road users.

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Place the Lifesaver on the Road

If the accident is serious and it is clear that the cars will be on the scene for a while, then place lifesavers on the road to warn oncoming drivers of the accident. Failure to warn oncoming drivers can lead to a compound accident. This will complicate how your motor insurance company handles the situation.

Assess the damage

Carry out a quick assessment of the damage to your car. Do not assume that because the impact took place at a low speed the damage on your car is minimal. Check for cracks on lights, dents and any leaks coming from your car. If the damage is minor, and you think there’s no need to involve your motor insurance provider, negotiate with the other person and if you agree, let it rest.

Call the Police

If the situation is beyond what you can handle, call the nearest police officer. The police officer will assess the damage and will determine who is at fault. Do not move your car before the police officer arrives, and get in touch with your insurance agent for further advice on what to do. It may be helpful to take photos of the accident scene before the cars move. Scan the general area to confirm that it is safe for you to wait there.

Report the incident to Your Motor Insurance provider

Once you have all the information you need from the scene, report the incident formally to your motor insurance provider. Based on their assessment, a decision will be taken on whether you can drive to the nearest authorized garage, or whether you will need a tow truck to move the car. The insurance company will also send an assessor to determine the value of damage to your car.

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