As Easter approaches, South Africa braces itself for the tragic spike in road accidents that the holiday season often brings. With an average of 14,000 fatalities annually, the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) deems the situation a “national crisis.” Just last year, the Easter weekend alone saw 162 lives lost on the roads. In this blog, we will explore the provinces with the highest accident rates, the top five causes of accidents, and the steps drivers can take to ensure a safer journey.
Provinces with the Most Road Accidents:
- KwaZulu-Natal (KZN)
- Eastern Cape
Top 5 Causes of Road Accidents in South Africa:
- Distractions: Lack of focus while driving, such as using a cell phone, eating, or applying make-up, contributes significantly to accidents. Texting while driving increases the likelihood of an accident by 23%.
- Drunk Driving: The legal blood alcohol content limit for drivers is 0.05% or less. Even a single alcoholic drink can impair some individuals.
- Speeding: Arrive Alive reports that the risk of death in a collision at 80 kph is 20 times higher than at 32 kph. Speeding also raises the probability of a collision due to longer stopping distances.
- Reckless Driving: Negligent actions, such as unsafe overtaking, ignoring stop signs or traffic lights, and squeezing into tight lanes, contribute to road accidents.
- J-Walking: Pedestrians j-walking, particularly on highways, can cause accidents when they are hit or vehicles swerve to avoid them. The AA states that a third of road fatalities involve pedestrians.
Precautions for a Safe Journey: Before embarking on a long road trip, drivers should perform a comprehensive vehicle inspection. Key components to check include:
- Brake pads
- Windscreen wipers
- Side mirrors
Many car dealerships offer a 20-point inspection to cover these essentials, providing peace of mind for your travels.
Take the Road Safety Pledge: Over 300 journalists have already pledged their commitment to safer roads by joining the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ) Road Safety Pledge. The Pledge encourages responsible driving behavior and urges drivers to take responsibility for their passengers’ conduct. By clicking the link, https://sagmj.co.za/about-us/#pledge, you too can take action to save lives and become an ambassador for road safety