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Be safe on the roads this easter

15 April 2014: 

A few statistics to bear in mind this Easter

Last year over the Easter holiday period, 28 March to 1 April 2013, 241 people were killed on South Africa’s roads. This figure went up from the 217 lives lost in 2012 and 151 in 2011. As with the December holidays, the expected high volume of traffic over the Easter Holiday period will bring with it an equally high number of road accident fatalities. 

A fatal crash happens every 48 minutes in South Africa, resulting in more than 13 800 deaths a year. More than half of all people killed in crashes during 2013 were under the influence of alcohol at the time of their death. While pedestrian fatalities tend to be singled out for attention, a report by the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) reveals that drivers account for an astonishingly high number of fatalities. “Thirty three percent of fatalities are pedestrians, but drivers aren't far behind at 29 percent,” the AA commented. “What doesn't get enough attention is that both these categories are outstripped by passengers, who are the biggest class of fatalities at 38 percent.”

A few statistics to bear in mind this Easter:
  • Road accidents are one of the top 3 leading causes of death globally for people aged 5 - 44 years
  • There are 10 845 fatal crashes in South Africa (excluding non-fatal crashes) a year.
  • There are 29.7 fatal crashes a day in SA
  • One every 48 minutes
  • There are 13 802 fatalities per annum in SA as a result of road crashes
  • 55 % of road fatalities in SA are as a result of being under the influence of alcohol
  • The estimated cost of road crashes in SA per annum is R307 billion and this equates to 7.8 % of the GDP
With these hair-raising statistics the AA urges all South Africans to be careful and extra vigilant on the roads this Easter. If possible, leave a day earlier for your trip to avoid the rush. Have a break every 200km, or every two hours, to make sure you stay fresh on your journey. Adjust your speed for the prevailing road or weather conditions, bearing in mind events like the ZCC pilgrimage to Moria, which means roads will be congested. 

Make it a rule that everyone in your car wears a seatbelt as a matter of utmost importance, particularly since one of the most striking pieces of information is that wearing a seatbelt can reduce the risk of death in a head-on crash by as much as 72 percent. “South Africa's seatbelt wearing rate is very low by world standards. We call on all motorists to buckle up these holidays, and not drive after drinking,” the AA says.
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