Four things to do if you are in­volved in an ac­ci­dent

Vuk'uzenzele - - General -

Be­ing in an ac­ci­dent can have costly con­se­quences if not man­aged prop­erly.

The main fac­tors that can lead to an ac­ci­dent are dis­tracted or drunk driv­ing, speed­ing and reck­less driv­ing, run­ning red lights, night driv­ing, pot­holes and an­i­mal cross­ings. It is im­por­tant to be alert and main­tain a safe fol­low­ing dis­tance. Rather ar­rive at your des­ti­na­tion a bit later than never.

Ac­ci­dents can hap­pen de­spite all the pre­cau­tions a driver takes, how­ever. Here are a few im­por­tant things you should do which could save you a lot of angst, time and money.

Think ahead

When you travel, al­ways make sure loved ones know where you are go­ing. Also, save fam­ily mem­bers and friends’ de­tails on your cell­phone. Should you not be in a po­si­tion to no­tify your loved ones of an ac­ci­dent, by­standers will be able to ac­cess them via your phone.

It is also cru­cial to en­sure you have the con­tact num­bers for emer­gency ser­vices. In ad­di­tion, make sure your per­sonal af­fairs are in or­der and that you have car and life in­sur­ance so that in the event of a fa­tal ac­ci­dent, your fam­ily will be taken care of.

Pull over

Be­ing in­volved in an ac­ci­dent and mak­ing a run for it is pun­ish­able by law. Pull your car off to the side of the road where it is safe. En­quire if the se­cond party is al­right or in need of med­i­cal at­ten­tion and when you can, check your own car for dam­age.

Be care­ful about what you say next

When you are in­volved in an ac­ci­dent, it is im­por­tant to stay calm. Do not get up­set or start apol­o­gis­ing pro­fusely as the other party can use this against you to force you to pay for dam­ages, even if the ac­ci­dent was not your fault. Rather tell your side of the story to the po­lice and in­sur­ance com­pany when you make a state­ment.

Jot down a few notes

Once you have safely parked your ve­hi­cle, swop in­sur­ance de­tails with the party who was also in­volved in the ac­ci­dent. Jot down their names and con­tact de­tails as well as the model of the car, the date, time and lo­ca­tion. It is ad­vis­able to call the po­lice whilst you are still on the scene of the ac­ci­dent.

Take photos of both ve­hi­cles Be sure to take photos of the dam­age caused to both your ve­hi­cle and the other per­son’s ve­hi­cle. Ask to take a photo of the other party’s driver’s li- cence and ID. Also take photos of the sur­round­ing area so it is easy to iden­tify ex­actly where the ac­ci­dent took place and to ver­ify your story.

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