The festive season – or any holiday season really – is a grim time for motorists in South Africa. Only a small fraction of the cars passing by you on the road are being operated by somebody who is actually sober, undistracted, rational and paying attention. Now, that's a distressing thought, knowing that you're risking your life each and every time you get into your car, but it also helps us understand why the vehicular carnage in this country may require action as drastic as the AARTO Bill, or what is yet to come.
Over 767 people lost their lives on our roads this last December. This is a 16% increase in road fatalities compared to the previous year, with KwaZulu-Natal claiming 162 lives, Gauteng 125, Eastern Cape and Limpopo 89, Mpumalanga 82, Western Cape 81, the Free State 78 and North West 57.
The Northern Cape, though seeing the least amount of fatalities (24), saw the highest increase in crashes causing death (71%).
86% of all fatal incidents can be attributed to human error. The drunk. The reckless. The lawless. The arrogant. The distracted. The impatient. The people at the party who arrive without bringing anything, bum cigarettes off of other people all night, and then kill somebody.