A bumper bashing refers to an incident in which a car bumps into the rear of the car in front of it. Bumper bashings happen more frequently during the rainy season, which is why it is important to know what to do should you find yourself in this situation.

Although considered minor incidents, if you are involved in a bumper bashing you need to stop your car, put the hazard lights on, and ensure that nobody is injured. If anyone has been injured, contact the relevant medical rescue teams immediately. It’s also critical that you don’t move the injured party.

If there are no medical injuries and the damage to the vehicle is minor, move the vehicles to the side of the road to prevent disrupting traffic. If a vehicle cannot be moved, then a towing service needs to be called to tow the vehicle. Ensure a proper assessment of your vehicle is done, and, if you can, take pictures of the damage to all the vehicles involved in the incident.

Take note of all road names, landmarks, intersections and robots, as you will have to draw a sketch and description of the accident on your police report, and for insurance purposes.

CHECKLIST: Information you need from the other party when in an accident

Full names (first- and middle names, initials and surnames)
ID number
Car registration number
Cellphone number and other telephone contact details (work and home)
Insurance company details (Insurer, policy number)
Make, model and colour of the other vehicle
Date and time of the crash
Details of any eyewitnesses

The legalities:

You need to report the incident at the nearest police station in the vicinity of the crash scene within 24 hours.
You need to get an Accident Report (AR) number, as this is needed for any insurance claim or third party claim you may lodge.

It is important to note that your insurance policy may have a stipulated time frame in which you must report an incident. Even if you are not claiming from your insurer, it is advisable to inform them of the incident. Should your claim against the third party insurer fail you will still have recourse with your insurer.