Getting into our cars every morning remains one of the most dangerous activities we do on a daily basis, with varying sources on what your chances of being in a car crash ranging from one in 5 000 in some parts of the world. In South Africa your chances of being involved in a car crash are an astonishing 1 in 10 people.
Grim statistics recently released on the death toll on our roads over the festive season are stark proof of the risk we take behind the wheel every morning, yet 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. A core and major problem in perceptions of road safety is 'externalisation,'" says the AA.
"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," the AA adds.
In some cases, there are clear indications of where driver responsibility lies in the event of a crash. Considering the impending danger in which we put ourselves each morning when we climb into our cars, the ultimate responsibility lies with us to protect ourselves at all costs.
This means maintaining utmost vigilance at all times on the road and stringently obeying the rules of the road for our own good. Drunk driving, unroadworthy vehicles and disregard of the law are all factors that we need to eradicate from road behaviour, starting from the moment we get into our cars tomorrow morning.
Based on the official number of crashes reported to SAPS in 2008
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1126