RAF Buddy Wants You To Be Safe On Our Roads.

Over the festive season, we typically see an increase in accidents on South African roads. With that in mind, Buddy wants to share some important information regarding road safety with you.

Besides the busy holiday periods of Easter and Christmas, road safety guidelines should be practised by all road users when using South African roads, no matter when.

But let’s be honest, who would proactively search for information on road safety before heading on a trip? That is why Buddy has focused on what to do should you be involved in an incident on the road and encourage you to print this out and have it in your cubby hole and with your vehicle’s paperwork.

What I Should Do If I Am In An Accident?

Incidents on the road, such as car collisions or pedestrian injuries, are an everyday occurrence in South Africa. If you were involved in an accident, you should;

Remain at the scene.

Stop immediately and remain at the accident scene. If you are a vehicle driver, it is a serious offence to fail to stop and you could be considered a “hit-and-run” driver. You can face severe criminal charges if someone sustains injuries or succumbs to their injuries.

Check on everyone.

All vehicles must switch on their hazards.

Step out of your car when it is safe to do so.

Check on all drivers, passengers and pedestrians to make sure that everyone is all right. If anyone is injured, call an ambulance. Unless a hazard requires that an unconscious person be moved, don’t move them until paramedics arrive.

Who Should You Call And When?

If there is a death, physical injuries or significant property damage, call the police. You can call 112. You will be connected to the emergency service closest to you. Do not move any vehicles unless necessary or required by law. Make sure that you take a photo of the scene before they are moved.

You should call the police or report the accident at a police station within 24 hours if someone was injured or killed. If no person was killed or injured, you can report the incident on the first working day after the accident. And be sure to write the name of the police officer as well as the case reference number.

Cooperate with all emergency staff that attend to the accident.

Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police tell you to do so.

If a person is injured, a doctor should be consulted immediately, even if the injuries are not serious. Take note of the medical facility and professional, as the file may be important in legal matters that may arise. If the person is insured, the insurance company should be notified as soon as possible.

Be honest regarding what happened and the extent of your injuries.

What About Damage To Property?

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) will not assist with any claims in terms of property damage.

Its establishment is for the benefit of people who have sustained personal injuries (including death) if a victim of negligence, that will affect their standard of living.

In the event of a death, the RAF may compensate the dependents of that victim for their loss. The RAF Buddy website has been created to provide you with a handy step-by-step process and support system when making an RAF claim.

On A Scene Of An Accident, It Is Very Important To Collect And Exchange Information.

It is vital to gather as much information as you can;

  • The drivers’ names
  • Identity numbers
  • Addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Description of the motor vehicles and the registration numbers
  • Any relevant details from the licence discs
  • Date, time and address of the accident
  • Insurance information
  • The details of the passengers
  • If an employee is driving the vehicle on behalf of an employer, the driver’s details, as well as the employer’s, must be taken
  • Names, addresses and contact numbers of any potential witnesses

NB! Do not agree to any terms or settlement until you have spoken to an attorney.

Document The Scene

Remembering every detail of an incident can be difficult and footage may be very useful in terms of RAF

or Insurance claims. But this is hard when you are in a state of shock. Photographic evidence will help keep a record for you. These will be needed in any lawsuits that may occur as a result, too.

Capture photos of the scene and take notes of when, where, and how the accident occurred.

Take photographs or a video of the following:

  • The scene of the accident from all angles
  • The surrounding area
  • The injuries
  • Any damage to property

Capture images of your immediate surroundings, including the weather, road condition, potholes or broken traffic lights etc.

How Do I Prevent An Accident?

Read this list, as a reminder, every time that you embark on a journey.

  • Obey the rules of the road.
  • Adjust your driving to the driving conditions and environment.
  • Stay within the speed limit and maintain a safe following distance.
  • Do not drive in the blind spot of other vehicles.
  • Only overtake when it is safe to do so.
  • Do not overload your vehicle.
  • Make sure that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition before departure. (incl. Windscreen wipers, lights and tyres)
  • Have a good rest before embarking on a trip.
  • Driving takes concentration, so make sure that you are hydrated and plan for regular rest stops (every 2 hours or 200km).
  • Keep essential roadside equipment such as a first aid kit, tow rope, warning triangles, torch and fire extinguisher with you.
  • Be visible – make sure that all your lights are working correctly and drive with your lights on.
  • Headlights should be dipped if there is an approaching vehicle.
  • Drive conservatively – don’t take risks.
  • Be especially alert when at traffic lights, intersections and level crossings.
  • Bikers should drive with lights on and wear protective clothing.
  • Do not drink and drive. If you intend to consume alcohol, have a designated driver or make alternative arrangements.
  • Expect others not to be as obedient to the law as yourself.
  • Try to anticipate potentially dangerous drivers and pedestrians and keep well clear of them.
  • Avoid driver distractions such as communicating on a cell phone when driving.
  • Passengers must also be made aware not to distract the driver.

Must I wear A Seat Belt?

The South African law requires that each passenger being transported in a motor vehicle straps themselves in. It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure all passengers are wearing seatbelts while travelling. It is a criminal offence for an adult to allow a child younger than 14 years to travel unrestrained.

Be responsible for seatbelt wearing, always wear your seat belt and see that everyone in the vehicle is wearing theirs.

Infants and children under the age of 12 but above 1 year old should travel in the back seat of a vehicle. They should be buckled up in a car seat or use the car’s seat belt, depending on the age and weight of the child.

Infants up to one year of age, or up to 10kg in weight, should travel in a rear-facing car seat in the back of a car.

How Can RAF Buddy Help?

RAF Buddy is a user-friendly platform that has been designed to assist any victims of road accident injury. Daily, Buddy is in communication with people who have had their lives turned forever changes, because of an accident. Buddy believes strongly that our roads can and should be made safer. However, no matter how cautious you may be as a road user, it is always good to know that there is a Buddy here to support you.

If you are in an accident, please do not hesitate to contact Buddy for help with lodging a claim against the RAF.