We have, in a few of our articles, given some pretty solid advice on how Drivers can try to prevent accidents. Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, sometimes accidents do happen to you, even if it’s not your fault.
Additionally, being on the road all the time means the chances are pretty good that you may be the first to come across the scene of an accident that has occurred with others.
In both cases, certain procedures can be followed which will enable you as Driver, in the case of your own accident to conduct yourself well whilst reducing liability – and in the case of another’s accident, enable you to be of assistance or even save another person’s life!
In this first part of a 2 part article, we deal with correct procedures in terms of you being involved in an accident. This is only applicable to a minor accident where you have not been severely harmed or made unconscious.
The series of events that should take place is as follows…
Take a deep breath
You must be as calm and clear as possible, so take a deep breath and be sure you are thinking clearly. Check if you have been injured in any way. If you feel intense pain it is critical to remain where you are and wait for assistance.
If you are fine and can easily pull the vehicle to the side of the road then do so. If however, you feel it is important that the vehicles remain where they are to prove what happened in the accident then leave the vehicles where they are until the traffic authorities arrive.
Secure the scene and Call for assistance
Alight from the vehicle cautiously and where another vehicle is involved, check if the other driver is ok. Call for medical assistance if any emergency assistance is required (usually 10111 or 112 when calling from a mobile phone). The next thing to do especially if either of the vehicles is in the road is to put your reflector signs out so motorists approaching from both sides are warned.
Then call the police to the scene so they can make notes on the nature of the accident. Following that, if you are driving for a company, notify them. There is a good chance that your company will have trained you in a procedure that they want you to follow, so adhere to that. This article is really more for the SME guys who may not have a formal procedure to follow.
Be aware of legalities
It is important that you say nothing incriminating to the other Driver. Even an ‘I’m sorry’ could go against you in a legal situation, so it is better to remain calm, neutral and simply exchange details whilst you wait for the police to arrive.
Remember you still represent your company no matter what the cause of the accident, so try to keep the whole procedure as dignified as possible. Look for witnesses if there are any and perhaps just get their details too. It will be up to the police to get a statement from them.
Particularly if you believe the accident was the fault of the other Driver, take pictures with your cell phone. Take as many as possible. Whether you are with a company or running your own business this photographic evidence can be invaluable in an enquiry into the accident.
If it is just a small bumper bashing, just get the vehicle off the road, take the other Driver’s details and pictures and ensure the accident is reported at a police station writhing 24hrs to obtain a case number to forward your insurance.
Assisting Drivers with great advice and vehicles
We hope this kind of advice is useful to our Trucking companies and their Drivers – watch this space for part 2 on assisting others when alighting upon an accident.
FAW South Africa build great Freight carriers, Truck tractors, Tippers and Mixers, brand new with excellent warranties and service plans, or premium pre-owned. Our vehicles are built by South Africans for Africa so connect with a dealer near you and check out our great range.
Stay safe on and off the roads – and hopefully accident-free!