The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) released a report for the year 2014 to 2015, that indicated the amount of car accidents that lead to death on SA roads.
More than 4500 deaths were recorded on South African roads over the year, with nearly 40% of these being pedestrians. This is 10 times the GLOBAL average of aeroplane deaths annually (of around 450 a year).
Trends show that the highest number of road users who died in car accidents were pedestrians (38,3%), followed by passengers (32%) and drivers (27.8%).
Fortunately, the high road death statistics in South Africa remain on Government and business agendas. Most recently, traffic authorities from all nine provinces and the metros decided to sustain high impact road operations after the Easter period to reduce deaths on the roads.
Encouraged by the 46% decline in car accident fatalities over the Easter period this year, the chiefs decided that road safety operations implemented over the Easter period should be continued throughout the country with special focus on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Pay-day weekends and long weekends also experienced stringent law enforcement operations and roadblocks to address drunken driving, speeding as well as reckless and negligent driving.
The corporation noted the following high car accident hotspots in South Africa:
Car insurance companies in South Africa do their bit
- The R101, R568, R25 in Limpopo.
- The R56, R58 and R61 in the Eastern Cape.
- The R103, the N14, N3, N17 and R59 in Gauteng.
- The R618, the N2, N3 and the inner of the City of Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal .
- The N17, N4, the R38 and D1398 in Mpumalanga.
Executive Director and Founder of Discovery Insure, Themba Baloyi, explains that one of their recent CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) pilot projects aimed to change driver behaviour in the community by finding innovative ways to reduce car accidents and road deaths.
The Safe Travel to School programme pilot targeted 75 learner-transporters in the Athlone area with the aim of improving knowledge and awareness of their driving behaviour to ensure safer commuting to school.
The study found that drivers on the programme improved their driving behaviour significantly compared to the general driving population of Cape Town.
“The World Health Organisation estimates that at the moment road accidents number among the top 10 killers, but by 2030 it is expected that road crashes will be the number five killer and higher than HIV. If we don’t do anything, road crashes may be one of the top three killers by 2050, which means that as motor insurers we have a much deeper responsibility,” explained Baloyi.
Discovery Insure, therefore, wanted to challenge common perceptions and go beyond the typical driver behaviour commentary in the media, where people only speak about the road deaths toll during the holiday season according to Baloyi. This aligns with RTMC’s recent attempts to monitor high-risk periods throughout the year, and not only during the holidays.