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Study reveals that VW Polo drivers cause most fatal crashes in SA

27 January 2022 - 08:34 By Motor News Reporter
The Volkswagen Polo came out on top with a contribution of 16.7% of all fatal crashes, followed closely by the Toyota Hilux on 14.2%. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
The Volkswagen Polo came out on top with a contribution of 16.7% of all fatal crashes, followed closely by the Toyota Hilux on 14.2%. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Volkswagen Polo, Toyota Hilux and Toyota Quantum are the vehicle models mostly involved in fatal crashes in SA and account for the highest number speed infringement fines issued, a study conducted by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has revealed.

The study, titled South African Fatal Crashes in Context, analysed fatal crash data from October 1 2017 to June 30 2021, a period of 3.8 years. It also analysed Aarto speed infringement data from January 1 2019 to June 20 2021, a period of 2.5 years.

A total of 48,330 vehicles were involved in 37,583 fatal crashes with 45,232 deaths during the period, according to data on the RTMC’s national crash data management system.

In an analysis of the top 20 models involved in fatal crashes, the Volkswagen Polo came out on top with a contribution of 16.7% of all fatal crashes, followed closely by the Toyota Hilux, which was involved in 14.2% of fatal crashes.

This aligned with their market share as the Hilux and Polo Vivo are two of the country’s best-selling vehicles. The study recorded a Polo population of 795,613 and a Hilux population of 592,021 on the roads.

However, the Toyota Quantum was in third place with a 12.2% involvement in fatal crashes despite its much lower vehicle population of 152,742, confirming the dangerous driving habits of minibus taxi drivers — something many South Africans have long suspected.

The top 20 list of vehicle make and model with the highest contribution to fatal crashes and speed infringements and their representation in the total vehicle population. Picture: RTMC
The top 20 list of vehicle make and model with the highest contribution to fatal crashes and speed infringements and their representation in the total vehicle population. Picture: RTMC

These three vehicle models also accounted for the highest number of Aarto speed infringement fines issued by the Johannesburg Metro police department, Tshwane Metro police department, the Gauteng department of community safety and the national traffic police.

A total of 35% of speeding fines were issued to these three vehicle models in the period under review, and they constituted 33% of the total vehicle population.

“The high number of speed infringements committed by public transport-type vehicles such as the Toyota Quantum is unacceptable and needs to be addressed,” the RTMC said.

“Though it is expected that public transport vehicles will be involved in crashes because they are on the road on a semi-full-time basis and travel more than a million vehicle kilometres compared to other vehicle models, their contribution to fatalities remains unacceptably high considering that they constitute a mere 3.3% of the total vehicle population.”

The study also found that Volkswagen Polo and Toyota Quantum vehicles aged between five to 10 years were involved in most fatal crashes when ranked by the grouping of vehicle make, model and age.


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