Two ambulances arrived without her calling for help, several minutes after her car vaulted a pavement and smashed into a pole and wall. Evelyn Sadler was concussed, cut and bleeding, but she knew exactly why they had arrived so quickly.
Dazed and semi-conscious, she had earlier recognised the Discovery Impact Alert number on her ringing phone - which she was helpless to answer because it seemed to have temporarily jammed during the crash. "I recognised the number because they've called me twice before, once when I hit a pothole and a second time when I went over a speed bump a little too fast," the West Rand, mother of two and insurance broker says. Her crash was near-fatal.
This time, the Impact Alert notification was the real deal - with her device showing an immobile vehicle after a recorded impact, triggering the emergency ambulance response via Discovery's Comprehensive vehicle insurance package. "The paramedics told me they were dispatched by Discovery," she says. It was 5am, half-an-hour before sunrise, when Evelyn saw the headlights of a taxi swerve towards her car, then away and then suddenly back towards her. To avert a partial head-on collision – known to produce the worst injuries imaginable – Evelyn swerved her Honda Jazz to the left.
"I was airborne and remember saying 'this is it!' I'd completely lost control and I had this flash vision of my two little boys, Camden, 5, and Kai, 1, and my husband Vernon, who were still at home. I saw the airbags pop, heard my passenger window shatter and everything went dead-still. I must have lost consciousness for a few seconds. I awoke terrified that the car would catch alight. My door wouldn't open, so I scrambled over the passenger airbag. Unknown to me, there was blood all over the place from deep cuts to my right arm, hand and fingers. My whole leg was swollen and my right knee was about double its normal size," says 39-year-old mom. A security guard at the business premises whose wall her car had demolished ran to help, urging her to stay in the car and fetching towels to stem the flow of blood, and a blanket for shock.
Great customer service during traumatic experience
Evelyn urged him to call her husband on his cell phone, but the roadside pair got no answer. Earlier, to her distress, two passers-by whom she ran to for help, fled, apparently terrified at the sight of a bleeding, distraught woman. The offending taxi driver drove on unscathed, never to be traced. Evelyn's husband – who eventually answered the security guard's repeated calls – then arrived on the scene. Evelyn recalls how, once she had calmed down, she answered a call from her new child minder, whom she had been on her way to fetch, before driving to gym and then work.
"I had the presence of mind to tell her to take public transport to my home so she could be there with the children when my husband left for work," she adds.
Besides blood loss, Evelyn broke no bones nor suffered any internal injuries but her car was a write off. She was discharged from the Krugersdorp Private Hospital emergency trauma unit, bandaged and bruised, six hours after the crash. Her first action was to report the accident at her closest police station and secure a case number for insurance purposes before filing a claim to Discovery Insure the following day. To her amazement, seven days later, the insured value of her car reflected in her account.
"Discovery Insure was really on the ball. Because I was recovering at home I didn't have my work e-mail so they got hold of me to process the claim. I'd had the car for 12 years and was planning on selling it at a trade-in value. I'd definitely recommend Discovery Insure to anyone. Because I had comprehensive car insurance, a car hire company dropped off a vehicle at my doorstep for the standard 30-day use. It could not have been smoother all round."
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