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What to do in a minor bumper bashing accident

We all despise bumper bashings! A bumper bashing is when a driver bumps into the car bumper in front of them because they never stopped in time or failed to maintain a safe following distance.

Bumper bashings are common and can also happen to anyone at any given time. Whether you’re at fault or not, do you know what to do if you are in a bumper bashing accident?

Here are 6 tips to consider from when involved in a minor bumper bashing incident:

Tip 1. Come to a complete stop and remain at the scene

Stop your vehicle immediately; turn on your hazards to warn other drivers; and step out of your car if safe to do so. If someone is injured, provide whatever assistance you can and contact an ambulance.

If you feel that any of the drivers involved in the accident were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you should contact the police. It’s good to keep the following emergency numbers on your phone: 10177 for an ambulance, 10111 for a police response, and 112 for any emergency on a cell phone.

Tip 2. Exchange Information 

Keep a record of everyone involved in the bumper bashing. This includes personal information of the other driver/s (full name, ID number, car registration, make, model and colour, address, contact details, and insurance company details).

Tip 3. Gather evidence

Write down or use your cellphone to capture all road names, landmarks, intersections, and robots since you may need to draw a sketch and describe the bumper bashing should you need to claim from insurance. Take note of any visible damage to your car or the cars of other motorists involved.

Tip 4. Watch what you say

Be cautious of what you say at the site of a bumper bashing (or any car accident for that matter). Keep your cool and say less rather than more.

Be mindful that while it may appear that your car was not damaged during the incident or that you were not injured, small bumper smacks can be more serious than they appear, and you may later discover your car was damaged or that you did sustain injuries that only manifested in the days following.

Tip 5. Consider towing costs

Often, a minor bumper bashing won’t require vehicle towing. However, only use a towing service authorised by your insurance company if it does. If you do not have tow coverage via your insurance carrier, ask the tow truck driver for a price before your vehicle is towed, and make sure you know where it’s going ahead of time.

Tip 6. Police reporting obligations

The police are not required to respond to such an accident, but it must be reported to a police station within 24 hours by both drivers. It is illegal not to report an accident, even if neither driver plans to pursue legal action.


It’s awful, but an accident may happen in the blink of an eye, whether it’s a little bumper bash, fender bender, or something more serious. In some cases, due diligence when buying a car can save you from many headaches and mounting bills down the road. offers a convenient, simple, and safe car purchase experience. Consumers are spoiled for choice with a network of more than 300 trusted vehicle dealerships across South Africa, representing more than 30 car manufacturers.

Each dealership is Motus-certified and backed by more than 70 years of automobile retail experience, so you can purchase, sell, finance, and service your next vehicle with confidence – with just one click!

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What to do in a minor bumper bashing accident