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Thu Apr 24 08:05:19 SAST 2014

1 in 101 chance of car accident in SA

Sapa | 22 January, 2010 14:110 Comments

The chances of being in a car accident in South Africa are an 'astonishing' one in 101 compared to one in 5000 in other parts of the world, says the Automobile Association of SA.

"Getting into our cars every morning remains one of the most dangerous activities we do on a daily basis," spokesman Gary Ronald said in a statement.

In other parts of the world chances ranged from one in 5000.

The festive season was stark proof of the risk people took getting behind the wheel every morning. A total of 1050 people - 276 drivers, 419 passengers and 355 pedestrians - were killed on South African roads during December. Speed was reported as a major contributor to these crashes.

In the same period in 2008, 1348 people were killed on the country's roads.

More than 285,000 motorists were fined for speeding. Over 3000 drunk drivers and 244 reckless or negligent drivers were arrested.

"[Y]et these statistics seem to be making an insignificant dent in shifting road user behaviour in South Africa...one of the most important attitudes we need to change is the one of shirking all responsibility when it comes to delinquent road behaviour," Ronald said.

"More often than not, people who are involved in an accident are reluctant to claim that it was their fault, for whatever reason. They blame the government, the department of transport, the mayhem of the current infrastructure upgrades or, for want of something better, the other driver."

He said drunk driving, unroadworthy vehicles and disregard of the law needed to be eradicated from road behaviour, "starting from the moment we get into our cars tomorrow morning".

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