Driver Safety Tips from MotorVaps: How to Safely Navigate Your Way out Of Dangerous Situations
MotorVaps has built their entire business around ensuring safety – both physical and financial – for their clients. Due to the nature of the insurance and financial product industry, it’s impossible to keep every customer satisfied, to pay every single claim and to ensure that nobody comes into harm’s way while they are part of your family of clientele.
While we have you covered in terms of financial products, like mechanical warranties, service plans, excess waivers and other insurances, we want to make sure our MotorVaps family knows how to handle any dangerous situation they may encounter on the road.
Here are the top tips for staying stay, out of harm’s way and making it out of a dangerous situation.
Driver Safety South Africa
- If you are involved in an accident or collision
First and foremost, if you are not injured and are out of harm’s way, you should determine if anyone has been hurt and contact emergency services.
Obtain as much information as possible from the other party involved in the accident., including their name, address, contact details, insurance details, identity number and driver’s licence number, as well as the make, model and registration number of their vehicle. Also remember that you are required to supply your particulars to them. A great idea to keep in mind if this ever happens to you is that in the moment of an accident, you are not thinking clearly. Instead of allowing the other party to furnish you with (possibly) fake information, take photos immediately; you may not have the right to photograph the face of the other parties, but you may take photographs of the impact (accident scene), a picture of their number plate, of their driver’s license and of course their vehicle license (typically displayed in the windscreen). Keep these images confidential – posting them to social media may work against you in finishing your insurance claim.
If your vehicle has to be towed, contact your insurer for advice on which towing service to use. While roadside assistance is included in specific MotorVaps plans, it does NOT cover towing from an accident scene. Establish the credentials and rates of any towing service that arrives on the scene before surrendering your vehicle to them and never sign a blank towing permission form.
By law you are required to report the accident to the police within 24 hours of it happening so be sure to do that as soon as possible.
- If you knock over a pedestrian with your vehicle
You need to act and re-act responsibly and according to the rules of the law. Although it is true that criminals fake pedestrian accidents in order to prey on motorists and that stopping could put you at risk, simply driving off could constitute a hit-and-run and land you in hot water.
You are required to establish whether the pedestrian you hit has been injured or killed and to render assistance if possible. You are also expected to call the police and emergency services right away.
If you feel that you will be placing yourself in a potentially dangerous situation by stopping and getting out of your vehicle, it would be acceptable for you to move away from the scene of the accident before you call for help. This does not, however, mean driving home and then calling the police and emergency services! You will also be required to provide a full description of what happened and where, so make notes and – if possible – take photographs at the scene as supporting evidence.
- Your vehicle breaks down at night, on a dangerous stretch of road or somewhere you are unfamiliar with
The first thing to do is to activate your vehicle’s hazard lights. This will let other road users know that you are experiencing a problem and that your vehicle might be moving slowly or not at all. The next step is to move as far off the road as possible. If your doors are not already locked, ensure they are locked straight away. Remove valuable such as cell phones from direct line of sight of potential criminals.
The breakdown might be caused by something as simple as a flat tyre, in which case you can fix it yourself, or make use of roadside assistance benefits such as flat tyre changes through MotorVaps. If, however, the problem is more serious, you will have to call for help. In such cases it is important to know exactly where you are, or know how to share your location via WhatsApp so that your breakdown service or roadside assistance service provider can find you.
Once you know that help is on the way, you should turn your attention to your safety and that of your passengers and yourself. If you choose to exit the car, never stand directly behind the vehicle but rather move off to the side, out of harm’s way. If you are a MotorVaps mechanical warranty policy holder, call XXX any time of the day or night for roadside assistance.
A hijacking can occur anywhere, at any time, to any person driving any car.
Prevention is better than cure; especially in this case, so there are certain steps you can take to avoid becoming a statistic. Know the location of hijacking hotspots and avoid them if possible. Always, always be vigilant when approaching your vehicle; have you keys at the ready, unlock your car as soon as you reach it, keep an eye out for anyone following you or lurking behind a concealing element such as a bush or a wall, plan your route and let someone know where you are going and when. Don’t drive with the windows down, keep the door locked and put valuables out of sight.
If you are ever involved in a hijacking situation, the most important thing is to remain calm and to do exactly as you are told. Your life and the life of your passengers is more important than any car, laptop, handbag or wallet. Don’t make any sudden or threatening movements and speak slowly. Assure the assailants that you will comply with their requests.
Although it is important to take in as many details of the situation as possible you should not stare at your attackers or provoke them in any way. Once the hijackers have driven off in the vehicle and it is safe to do so, you should find help immediately. Get to a telephone as quickly as possible to notify your vehicle tracking company, phone the police and request medical assistance if necessary. You will most likely be in a state of shock but try to give as much detail of the incident as possible.
- If you are caught in civil unrest – such as rioting, intimidation, stoning of vehicles etc.,
Strikes and protest marches have become part of everyday life in South Africa. You should always be aware of any possible unrest on your route and avoid the affected areas completely if possible. The police would probably have blocked off the area so follow their instructions and don’t put yourself or your vehicle in harm’s way.
If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation it is best to let the protesters know that you are not a threat to them and move out of the area as quickly as possible. Keep your vehicle moving slowly and avoid actions that could provoke the crowd such as hooting or shouting at them.