How To React After An Accident


Post created: 17 February 2023

Regardless if you have been involved in a bumper bash or a serious crash as a driver, or even being a passenger, or a bystander – accidents are always a tough thing to experience or witness. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the situation, and therefore, it is vitally important to do your best to remain calm and follow the correct required procedures.

Kindly take a moment to read through our handy guide suggestions below on how to react after being involved in an accident. This course of action will ensure that you’re prepared and better equipped having the required knowledge – ensuring that the necessary procedures that need to be adhered to are followed.

1. Stop your car and stay at the scene

Firstly, stop your vehicle and switch off the ignition. Secondly, switch on your hazard lights, in order to warn other drivers of the accident and possible dangerous strewn body components on the road surface. If you have an emergency triangle, place this behind your car to warn other drivers.

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The next step – if it is safe to do so climb out of your vehicle and confirm if anyone has been seriously hurt. If possible, move any cars that are possibly disrupting the traffic flow – ensure that you clearly document their positions and arrow directions on the road. This can be done by either utilizing your cell phone by taking various photos of the accident scene, remembering to mark the road with chalk or spray paint. Ensure that you capture pictures of the damage to all the vehicles involved in the incident, including the street names. In the event that a vehicle(s) cannot be moved, contact a reputable towing service to assist with the removal.

It is road law in South Africa to remain at the scene of an accident until the police have arrived in the event that commuters/pedestrians have been injured, or if property has been damaged. You may only leave once you have been given the okay by the relevant personal attending to the scene.

2. Assist anyone who has been hurt

As a bystander who has witnessed a road accident – you have a moral obligation to help anyone who has been hurt as it could be the difference between life and death in some situations. You can provide assistance in the form of contacting an ambulance or rescue unit – even if the injuries do not appear to be serious.

NOTE – It’s vitally important that you do not move the injured party, or administer first aid unless you are qualified to do so.

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3. Collect information from involved parties

Record the relevant information of everyone involved in the accident. This includes information such as personal details, vehicle registration numbers, license disc particulars (valid), tow-truck information and insurance details. Be sure to take note of all road names, landmarks, intersections and robots – as you will be required to draw a sketch and description of the accident on your police report and for insurance purposes.

Ensure that you collect the following information from the other party involved in the accident:

  • Full names (including first and middle names, initials and surnames)
  • ID number/s
  • Car registration number/s
  • Third party license disc details (not expired and matching number plate and vehicle make corresponds)
  • Physical address of the owner/s
  • Cellphone number and other telephone contact details (work and home contact numbers)
  • Insurance company details
  • Make, model and colour of the other vehicle/s involved in the accident
  • Date and time of the crash
  • Details of any eyewitnesses

4. Report the accident

It is vital to inform the police of the accident within 24 hours of it taking place. In the event that police arrive on the scene, do not move anything until they give you permission to do so. It is vitally important to ensure you receive an Accident Report (AR) number – this is required for any insurance claim or third party claim you may wish to lodge.

It is important to ensure your vehicle is equipped with quality parts and accessories to minimize the chances of being involved in an accident. From reliable tyres to quality wiper blades, AutoZone have all the safety essentials you need to always put your safety first.

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INDEMNITY: These hints and tips are for information purposes only. For more details please consult the relevant workshop manual for your vehicle. Neither Auto Parts Distributors Pty (Ltd) nor any of the AutoZone outlets will be held liable for any damage or injury whatsoever resulting from the use of the information contained in this pamphlet.