Reporting an accident…focus on vehicle and driver identification

Nandi Drive accidentWe have discussed in 2 previous posts the basics pertaining to Reporting an accident and important aspects that the driver need to be aware of when he completes the Accident Report. View these blog posts at:

Easy Steps and Guide to Reporting an Accident [Part1]

Easy Steps and Guide to Reporting an Accident [Part2].

The vehicles involved in the Accident

In the 2nd Part of the series of posts we emphasized the need for attention to detail with regards to the location where the accident took place. This includes making a note of the road and weather condition at the time of the incident.

In this post we would like refer to the Identification of Vehicles, Vehicle Damage and the Drivers involved in the accident.

The Accident Report form requires the following information:

Information about the Vehicles

  • Number Plate number
  • License disk number
  • Colour
  • Make
  • Model
  • Trailer Number Plate number if applicable

Vehicle Type

There are several types of vehicles, and the driver can confirm whether the vehicles are passenger vehicles, goods vehicles, motorcycles or other vehicles such as tractors, bicycles etc…

Positioning of vehicle and accident type

This information will provide more clarity on how the accident happened. Aspects to be disclosed are:

  • Positioning of vehicles before the accident
  • Vehicle manoeuvre / What the driver was doing  i.e. turning, stopping, swerving, merging etc
  • Accident type i.e. sideswipe, rear end, head on etc

Identification of the driver and his vehicle

It is important that you are able to find information to identify the other driver. In most accidents this does not present a dilemma, but you might be the unfortunate accident victim confronted by an unlicensed and uninsured driver who might like you to know as little as possible. What are you to do?

Information required on the Accident Report Form include

  • Name
  • Initials
  • Age
  • Address details
  • Telephone numbers
  • Race/ Gender
  • Driving License number

Even though every driver involved in an accident is required to report the accident within 24 hours, and he will have to provide the above details when completing his separate accident report, it is advised that you do more to assist your insurance company in establishing the contact details of the other party.

How do you do this?

  • Ask politely that the other person share information about his name, initials and contact number.
  • Write down his ID number.
  • If willing he might even provide you with his driver license for clarification
  • Ask for cellular phone number / work number. You might like to call him from there to confirm that it is not a bogus number.
  • Do not believe everything you are told…there are additional measures you can take.
  • Write down the vehicle registration number.

Use your cellular phone at the accident scene to collect information

You can benefit from the advances in cellular technology at the accident scene. Most cellular phones are now equipped with excellent camera capability – and you need to do this.

Photographs at accident sceneMost important photos to take for the purpose of gathering information could be:

-          Capturing the vehicle license plate

-          The license disk of the other vehicle

-          Positioning of the vehicles at the accident scene

-          Damage to the vehicles.

Expert accident investigator Stan Bezuidenhout has provided excellent advice in a section titled The perfect 36 Photographs of any accident.

We would like to advise all vehicle owners to view this section for the benefit of themselves and the processing of their car insurance claims.

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