The first part in this series dealt with the basics of reporting and accident. Aspects discussed focused on when such report has to be made and by whom. To refresh, view Easy Steps and Guide to Reporting an Accident [Part1]
In this section we would like to have a closer look at the Accident Report Form and the information that you might need to gather for the efficient completion of this document. You have to report the accident within 24hours – and even though this is required by law, there are also another important consideration for early reporting…There are many bits of information that you might forget if you do delay making the report!
In this section we would like to provide advice with regards to the area where the accident occurred and what you need to remember about the location and the type of the accident.
Important details to remember and collect from the accident scene include the following:
- Note the time of the accident.
- This is important as it might also provide an indication of the condition of “light” at the time of the incident and how visibility might have been.
- Often in accidents with animals on roads, especially a driver driving into farm animals it becomes a dispute whether the sun has already set and whether the driver should have had his lights on at the time.
Weather and Visibility
- Note the weather conditions at the time of the accident.
- This would also confirm aspects such as visibility and the condition of the road surface.
- Take note whether it was wet, misty or whether there might have been smoke from veld fire etc.
- Where did the accident occur?
- Try to be as precise as possible and write down the street names or crossings.
- Did the accident occur on a specific stretch of road, between 2 roads or at an intersection?
- If at an intersection, what type of intersection?
- Write down possible “markers” such as shop or place names. Even though you might not be familiar with the area, the police official assisting with the report might know the area well and might be able to reconstruct the scene with you.
- Also note specific road signs, traffic lights, traffic circles etc.
- These signs are referred to on the Accident Report Form as Traffic Control Type information.
Direction of Traffic
- In which way were the cars heading? What were the position of the cars just before the accident?
- It is important to make a note of the direction of travel of the cars in the accident.
- This will provide clarity on the “Accident Type” – i.e..whether it was a head/rear end, head on, sideswipe accident etc.
- Write down whether the roads were single or multi-lane roads and whether there were other cars travelling at the same time.
- Was it a freeway, one way road or which other type of road?
- Be attentive to whether there were changes in direction of travel by any of the vehicles such as a vehicle turning in a specific direction.
Condition of the Road
- You should make a note of the type of road that you were travelling on – gravel, tarmac, dirt etc
- Note the condition of the road and the presence/ absence of potholes
- Were there any road markings or construction activity such as road works?
- Note the condition of the road markings and whether they were visible.
View an example of the Accident Report Form at the Arrive Alive website at Accident Report Form