10 things to do after a car crash

How you react immediately after a fender bender can avert further injuries, cut costs and minimise stress.

1. Calm down.
Don’t panic or lose your temper.

2. Check if anyone's hurt.
Determine the extent of the damage by ensuring that all parties involved are okay. Including yourself.

3. Call an emergency helpline.
If someone has been hurt, call an ambulance. Don’t move anyone who is injured - unless they are in danger.

4. Contact the police.
And don’t leave the accident scene. This should be obvious.

5. Exchange details.
-    Names and surnames,
-    Identity numbers,
-    Telephone numbers,
-    Number/license plate and registration numbers,
-    Addresses, and
-    Insurance details

6. Find witnesses, if any.
If there are people who saw what happened, ask them to hang around until the police arrive. This may work in your favour.

7. Give a written statement
Report the accident as soon as possible. Before insurance companies process accident claims, they require a case number that you will only receive once you’ve given a detailed and accurate account - in writing - of what happened to the police. This is important.

8. Take note of other details…
… such as who the traffic/police officers on duty are, the name of the ambulance service and its rescue teams details. If your car needs to be towed, get the driver’s contact info too.

9. Get hold of your insurance company.
Once you've done all of the above, speak to a consultant and find out what your next step should be regarding your claim.

10. Don’t beat yourself up about it
Feeling guilty about the accident will not change anything.  If necessary, seek a counselor to help you deal with the trauma.

*Numbers worth noting:
If you're calling from a cellphone, dial 112
For SAPS, dial 10111
For ambulance services, dial 10177

Have we missed any important points? What other advice can you give regarding road accidents? Share your thoughts, recommendations and experiences in the box below.

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Read more on: motoring  |  safety


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