What to do in a crash

Many overseas visitors are driving themselves around so it is important that they know what to do if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Many overseas visitors are driving themselves around so it is important that they know what to do if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Yusuf Boda, a legal manager at Legal & Tax, gave the following tips to help motorists steer clear of any problems should they occur.

The Johannesburg Tourism Company and Legal & Tax have teamed up to provide a telephonic legal advice service to locals and tourists for the duration of the Fifa Soccer World Cup. The service is free.

l If you are driving a rented car and you are involved in an accident, the first thing to do is call the rental company, which will set towing and insurance processes in motion right away.

l If you are driving a borrowed car, you will need to call the owner to obtain insurance details. Do not allow the car to be towed away until you have received clearance from the car rental company or the insurance company.

l Call the insurance company yourself so that you are not duped to release the vehicle to a tow truck company under false pretence as they sometimes pretend to be talking to your insurance company when in fact, it is their allies on the other side of the line.

l Do not be intimidated by an aggressive tow-truck driver who tries to bully you into letting him tow the vehicle away.

l Do not move the vehicle until the police have arrived. This is particularly important for an accident that has resulted in serious injuries and, or damage to property.

l Fill in an accident report with the police and be sure to get all the names and the numbers of witnesses to the accident.

l Obtain the full details of the other drivers involved in the collision, that is, vehicle registration numbers, South African identity numbers, telephone numbers and residential addresses. Once you have all this information, you must submit it to the insurance company and then wait for the insurance process to get into motion.

l You might need to pay an excess, depending on the insurance option you took with the rental company, but provided you aren't charged with causing the accident through negligence or reckless driving, the insurer should take care of most of the details.

For access to this legal advisory service, call 087-803 INFO (+27(0)87 803 4636).

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