What to Do in a Crash

If you are involved in an accident, follow these steps to ensure that you receive a fair response from the police and collect the information that you may need for any legal/ insurance issues. Even if you are not injured, it’s important to report the incident, as injuries can come up later. Reporting also ensures more accurate police statistics and better action and policies in the future. 

AT THE SCENE

  1. Call 10111 (the SAPS flying squad) and 112 (emergency 24-hour service – toll free from mobile) and ask for the police and EMS.
  2. All parties, including the driver are required by law to stay at the scene of the crash until police arrive.
  3. Get the following information from all parties involved and witnesses: full names, ID numbers, addresses, telephone details, and vehicle registration numbers.
  4. You should also get: descriptions of the vehicles, details of police and traffic officers and ambulance personnel, and details of tow truck personnel.
  5. If the motorist refuses to stay or doesn’t provide ID, get their vehicle’s description and number plate.
  6. Record as much visual information as possible: use you phone to record the accident scene and keep any GPS data or video footage you may have.

WHEN THE POLICE ARRIVE

  1. Both the cyclist and drivers must co-operate with all law enforcement and emergency personnel who respond to the scene. More on driver’s responsibilities at the scene
  2. Leave your bike in the same state it was after the accident, so the police can see the scene undisturbed.
  3. Request that the police take an accident report (this is required of them). Be sure that your account of the crash is reflected in the report narrative.
  4. Get the reporting officer’s name and badge number.
  5. If you have been injured, consult a doctor immediately even if you think that the injury is not serious. A doctor’s report of your injury is important for insurance and/or legal action. Depending on your injuries you can seek medical attention either at the scene, the emergency room, hospital or doctor’s office. When in doubt go to the ER!

SOON AFTER A CRASH

  1. Report the incident within 24 hours to the SA Police (unless the police made a report at the scene). It’s important that all cycling accidents/incidents are reported to the police both for future legal/insurance reasons and to ensure correct police statistics and action.
  2. Get the case number from the police as well as the name of the officer to whom the accident is reported.
  3. File a report with the Western Cape Authorities.
  4. Email The Pedal Power Association with the following info: date of incident, time of day, location, a brief description of what happened and your contact details.
  5. Take photos of your injuries and any bike damage if appropraite. Get an estimate for bike repairs.
  6. Contact your insurance company or seek legal aid if required. Find out about claims and legal action.

More detailed information:

From www.pedalpower.org.za/incident-reporting/

On Digital Recording


If able, record as much visual info as possible, but be careful and don’t subject yourself to further injury by standing or waiting in an area near traffic or other safety hazards.

  1. Use your phone to take photos of the scene of the accident (from all angles), surrounding area, injuries sustained, damage to vehicles and bicycles; and the position of the bicycle and motor vehicle in relation to one another after the accident.
  2. If possible sketch a plan of the scene and make sure that it contains a fixed point so that it can easily be traced.
  3. Keep a copy of any GPS record of your cycling activity in advance of the accident, together with any GoPro or similar footage. Check whether any other driver or witness has any footage and ask for a copy.

Driver’s responsibilities at the scene

  • Drivers are also obliged to co-operate with all law enforcement and emergency personnel who respond to the scene.
  • Drivers may not move their vehicles unless it is required by law or necessary for safety.
  • Drivers may not leave the scene of an accident until the police allow it.
  • Drivers may not throw away any potential evidence (e.g. important documents or torn or blood-stained clothing).

Why Bother Reporting to the Police?

It is very important to ensure that all cycling accidents/incidents no matter how small are reported to the police:

  • Insurers often require a police report before they will pay out any claims.
  • Police statistics and future action and policies are also entirely dependent on accidents being reported.
  • Subsequent prosecution relies heavily on police investigation.

Insist that the police receive and record your report.