What to do if you’re involved in a car accident

Nissan South Africa shares safety information that all road users can benefit from

Image Supplied by Nissan South Africa

Thousands of people are involved in vehicle accidents in South Africa every year. Just last week, Miss South Africa, Ade van Heerden was involved in an accident while driving her new Nissan X-Trail in Joburg.

Luckily, Van Heerden sustained only minor injuries and is recovering at home. The X-Trail she was driving has an array of innovative Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM) features designed to keep occupants safe.

“The X-Trail is a very safe SUV and despite the airbags deploying, I sustained just a few cuts and bruises. I’m grateful the accident wasn’t a serious one,” said Van Heerden.

The X-Trail’s NIM features include, among others, Blind Spot Warning, which alerts the driver to the presence of vehicles in blind spots diagonally behind the car; Lane Departure Warning, which alerts the driver when it detects that the X-Trail is straying from its lane; and Forward Collision Warning, which alerts the driver of an impending collision with a slower moving or stationary car.

Given the high number of accidents on our roads, Nissan South Africa is sharing vital information on what to do if you’re involved in an accident:

  • If you’re involved in a minor accident, move the vehicles out of traffic and into a safe area.

  • If people have been injured, or if property has been damaged, you are legally required to stop and assist.

  • If you’re unable to move your car, put your hazard lights on and place a warning triangle behind the car.

  • If you, or anyone else is injured, call an ambulance.

  • Even if the accident is minor, call the police.

  • Gather information from others involved in the accident such as their names, ID numbers, contact details and vehicle registration.

  • Take photos of the cars and the accident scene from different angles only if it is safe to do so.

  • Be polite and remain calm at all times.

  • Don’t admit liability for the accident.

  • If the police do not arrive at the scene of the accident, ensure that you file a report at a police station within 24 hours. If you’re injured and cannot go to a police station within 24 hours, report it as soon as you can thereafter and explain why your report was delayed.

  • If your car has been damaged and you’re unable to drive it, contact your car insurance firm to ask if there is a towing company they would prefer you to use.

  • If your insurer doesn’t have a preferred towing company, ensure that you enlist the help of a tow truck operator affiliated with SATRA (South African Towing and Recovery Association), or UTASA (United Towing Association of South Africa). Make note of all their details, remove valuables from your car and ensure you understand the towing, and storage fees.

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