Nearly 1 800 killed on SA roads during festive season

JANUARY 12, 2016

Nearly 1 800 people died in accidents during the festive season, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said on Tuesday.

A total of 1 755 people lost their lives between December 1 2015 and January 11 this year, she told reporters in Pretoria. This was an increase of 14% from last seasons's figures of 1 535, between December 1 2014 and January 5 2015.

There were 1 387 fatal crashes this season, an increase of 11% from last year's 1 253. The Western Cape recorded the highest increase (33%) in deaths, from 122 last season to 162, followed by North West which increased by 26% from 108 to 136 fatalities.

Other provinces also showed large increases of fatalities - Gauteng (10%), Eastern Cape (22%), Free State (20%), Mpumalanga (16%), Limpopo (12%) and the Northern Cape (19%). The only province to show a decline in road fatalities was KwaZulu-Natal (-2%).

Around 17% of the fatalities were drivers between the ages of 25 and 34, while 8.8% were drivers aged between 20 and 24. Peters said that 4.4% of the passengers that died were between the ages of 0 and 4, while 14.6% were aged between 25 and 29.

Small vehicles accounted for 47.9% of total crashes, while light delivery vehicles accounted for 22.7%. Minibuses and Combis accounted for 10.1% and trucks 4.8%. Most fatal crashes occurred on Fridays (18.8%), Saturdays (22.2%) and Sundays (16.9%).

Men made up 74.4% of those killed and women 25.2%. Around 0.4 % of the victims were burnt beyond recognition and their gender could not be identified.
The statistics revealed that 38.3% of those who died were passengers, followed by pedestrians at 34.9%. Drivers contributed to 23.9% of the fatalities and cyclists 2.8%. Not wearing seatbelts and texting while driving were major concerns.