Carnage on South African roads remain a concern as 1 368 people lost their lives over the 2014/15 Festive Season, with 193 fatalities registered for the four day 2014 Easter long weekend alone. Head-on collisions are cited as the leading cause of death on South African roads with around 40% of fatalities being pedestrians.
In an effort to make a difference, Cartrack joined hands with Fury Motor Group to provide support to Netcare 911’s Rapid Intervention Unit which offers assistance and support over the coming Easter weekend, a time when road accident victims and emergency services personnel need support most. The Rapid Intervention Unit will once again be stationed along the N3 route to Kwazulu-Natal at Van Reenen’s Pass – a hot spot for accidents – and will attend to any incidents in the vicinity.
“An accident scene is normally accompanied by a certain degree of chaos, that emergency personnel need to navigate in order to assist accident victims,” says Peter De Kock, Group Risk and Credit Manager at Fury Motor Group. “More often than not, road users that are involved in an accident are frantic and not sure what to do,” he adds.
According to Neill Visser, Netcare 911 Regional Operations Manager for Gauteng West, your first priority is to remain calm and ensure no one is injured and/or may need medical assistance and assist the injured until help arrives. Once this is done, collect as much information as possible. “Try and get an eye-witness to the incident as this will corroborate your story to your insurer,” says Neill.
Netcare 911 recommends that you exchange the following details:
- Name, Surname
- ID number
- Telephone Number/s
- Vehicle Registration numbers
- If the other driver is a professional driver (taxi; delivery; truck or ambulance) they should be in possession of a valid Professional Driving Permit (PDP) that is seen on the drivers licence. If it is not valid, take a photo.
- Take photos of the following:
o The damage to your vehicle
o All the damage to the other vehicle both old and new, as often other parties will try and claim for old damage
o The overall scene
o Your vehicle from the direction that you were travelling in, indicating brake/skid marks
o Direction of where the other party was travelling from
o Licence disks of both vehicles
“It is always a good idea to have your mobile phone handy and to have a first aid kit in your car. In the event of an accident or when you come across an accident, remember to park your vehicle safely, in such a way that you do not obstruct emergency vehicles, with your hazard lights on,” says Neill.
“Ensure that you know a National emergency services number such as 082-911 or 10117 or 112, from a cell phone,” Neill emphasises. “Try and provide the emergency operations centre agent with as much accurate details as possible. The agent will normally guide you through the process and will most likely insist on your telephone number in the event that they need to call you back, the scene address and/or visible landmarks, what is happening at the moment and the patient’s condition,” explains Neill.
If emergency personnel arrive at an accident scene where the patient is unconscious, they will complete treating the patient and then will most likely look around in the vehicle for a means to identify the patient. “Good sources are cell phones, from where we will either look for numbers stored under ICE (In Case of Emergency) or last dialled numbers. However, these functions often do not work because phones are locked and we cannot access the information,” explains Neill. “We will also look at the debris within the vehicle for any documents with identification such as business cards, wallets and paperwork. As a last resort we will trace the vehicle’s registration number through Metro Police or SAPS,” Neill adds. This information will prove invaluable in determining receiving facilities and informing next-of-kin…
Juan Marais of Cartrack, a leading vehicle tracking and recovery, fleet management and telematics service provider says an important aspect that many overlook is the use of medical bracelets. “If you have a child that is autistic, or if you suffer from epilepsy, or you are allergic to certain medication, among others, then wearing some form of medical bracelet is vitally important,” says Juan. “Not only will it provide emergency personnel with critical information they need to give you the best possible care in the fastest possible time, but it will speak for you when you are unable to do so.”
The possibility of being in an accident is a topic that most people avoid at all cost, and yet it is something that demands consideration. “Being informed and knowing what you need to do to secure the best possible care in a moment of need, will not only help emergency personnel on the scene but can ultimately save your life,” concludes Juan.