This article should be regarded only as information, and not as financial advice. Anyone who wishes to purchase car insurance, should first seek advice from an accredited financial advisor.
Experiencing a car accident is never convenient in someone’s life. Accidents happen in a blink of an eye and when you least expect it. But what happens if you are in an accident and you don’t have car insurance? What does one do in such a situation?
Let’s have a look at the available options, and what are the common causes of car accidents.
What causes car accidents? 1
- Distractions: the number one distraction is the use of mobile phones. Motorists using their mobile phones while driving causes 25% of accidents. Other distractions are eating, applying makeup, setting up GPS devices, etc.
- Drunk driving: the alcohol limit one person can consume is 0.05g per 100 ml. If a motorist exceeds this limit, driving becomes impaired and may result in an accident, or even worse, a fatality.
- Speeding: speeding is one of the main causes of accidents. When you drive at 110 km/hr, it can take up to 90 m to stop your car. The greater the speed, the longer it will take for the brakes to come into effect resulting in an accident. Braking in an emergency while speeding can cause a serious accident.
- Reckless driving: this happens when some motorists don’t abide by the rules of the road, by either: speeding, cutting in front of motorists, and failing to stop at traffic lights when required to do so.
- Pedestrians: more accidents involve pedestrians than motorists. Most pedestrians are usually distracted when crossing or walking on the road.
- Unmaintained roads: unfortunately, South African roads have many potholes and driving through one can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle resulting in an accident.
- Weather: bad weather conditions, such as flash floods occurring on the road during a bad thunderstorm, can cause serious driving problems. Slippery roads can cause a motorist to lose control of the car.
How to avoid a car accident 4
- Approach traffic carefully. Pull into oncoming traffic slowly and cautiously.
- Look both ways when driving off at a green traffic light. There will always be the red-light latecomers taking a chance.
- Always make sure to keep your hand on the steering wheel.
- Always be vigilant for pedestrians.
- Always ensure your car is well maintained.
- Always think ahead when driving - it can get you out of a sticky situation.
- When reversing your car, do so slowly and look backwards, using your mirrors as guidance.
- Avoid tailgating anyone. If for any reason the driver in front of you has to suddenly stop, you will most likely smash into the rear end of the car.
- Try and always be courteous to other motorists while driving.
What to do if you are involved in a car accident and you are not insured?
In South Africa, approximately 70% of the estimated 12 million cars on the road are not covered with car insurance.2 In other words, only 3 out of 10 cars on the road have car insurance. If you do happen to be in an accident, it is unfortunately highly likely that the third party will not be insured.
What happens when, as a driver, you have no car insurance, and how can you protect yourself? Please note that the following points should not be viewed as legal advice but rather as general information. Please seek the advice of a qualified attorney when making legal decisions:
- The third party’s insurance company may claim the cost of damage from you if you caused damage to the third party’s insured vehicle and you are uninsured. 3
- If all parties are uninsured, the cost of damage could potentially be claimed directly from the driver who caused the accident. 3
- A person could pursue their claim in the Small Claims Court if an individual’s claim comes to an amount less than R15,000. 3
- An individual could pursue their claim in the Magistrate’s Court if their claim exceeds the amount of R15,000, together with the service of a qualified attorney. 3
The best way to protect yourself from any financial disaster caused by accidents is to purchase car insurance. Are you looking for affordable car insurance? Discover innovative car insurance with PMD.
- 9 Most Common Causes of Road Accidents in South Africa
- Having Minimum Cover is Better Than Not Being Insured at All
- Quick Law Guidelines Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Ten Ways to Avoid Car Accidents