This is the most deadly time to be on the road in SA

30 July 2018 - 11:43 By Nico Gous
Two people died in a collision on the N1 Ben Schoeman Highway in Midrand on July 29 2018.
Two people died in a collision on the N1 Ben Schoeman Highway in Midrand on July 29 2018.
Image: Netcare 911

Most fatal road accidents in South Africa happen on weekends between 4pm and 10pm.

This is according to researchers from North-West University who conducted a study of fatal road accidents in South Africa in 2015.

Just over three out of every five (60.3%) of these accidents happened on Fridays‚ Saturdays and Sundays and just over four in every 10 occurred during these hours.

December 2015 was deadly on our roads with more than one in 10 (11.2%) of fatal accidents of the entire year while January and February were the lowest months with 6% and 5% respectively.

Image: South African Journal of Science

“This result is to be expected as the roads are busiest in December‚ because it is the main holiday period for South Africans‚” Tanya Verster and Erika Fourie wrote in their article titled “The good‚ the bad and the ugly of South African fatal road accidents”‚ published on Monday in the July/August edition of the South African Journal of Science.

“One could argue that people tend to stay at home [in January and February] after their December travels.”

Image: South African Journal of Science

The researchers defined a fatal accident as one which results in death within 30 days of the crash. They relied largely on data from the Road Traffic Management Corporation and the Department of Transport.

Almost four in five people killed in fatal road accidents in 2015 were men. This was despite men comprising just less than half of the population at 49%.

Four out of every five fatal accidents were attributed to human factors‚ of which jaywalking made up more than half (52.5%) and speeding came at 11.6%.

“Road and environmental conditions contributed to 12.7% of the accidents‚ with sharp bends (22%) and poor visibility (16.5%) the main causes.”

According to the Department of Transport‚ 10 613 fatal accidents killed 12 944 people or about 1.2 people per crash in 2015. Two-thirds of the involved drivers were younger than 30 years old.

Image: South African Journal of Science

Other researchers quoted in the article believed that “younger drivers tend to avoid and delay taking breaks and also take more deliberate risks than older drivers do”.

Only 1.3% of crashes in 2015 were fatal‚ yet they made up 42.4% of the costs involved with all accidents. “The total cost of South African road traffic accidents in 2015 was estimated to be R142.95-billion‚ which equates to 3.4% of South Africa’s gross domestic product.

“South Africa’s economy is not only affected by the direct costs of accidents‚ but also via the death toll itself as the fatalities most often are the breadwinners of households‚ which leaves the rest of the household members financially unattended.”

Image: South African Journal of Science


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