One more holiday break in sight – stay safe on the roads

APRIL 25, 2017
One more holiday break in sight – stay safe on the roads

While many may have pleasant memories of the Easter weekend, others are however counting the costs of loss over the long weekend due to various road accidents that happened across the country. According to traffic authorities, the past Easter weekend statistics included:

  • 235 deaths on our roads
  • 1 738 motorists were caught speeding
  •  354 motorists were fined for overloading
  •  843 motorists were found to be driving with no license.

With another two public holidays coming up – Freedom Day on 27 April and Workers’ Day on 1 May, many people will use the opportunity to take to the roads once again and visit holiday destinations around the country. The South African Insurance Association (SAIA) urges motorists to exercise caution on the roads to ensure the alarming accident statistics are not repeated. According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), it was another tragic Easter on our roads this year with the death toll up by 51% compared to 2016. 

Technical Advisor at SAIA, Susan Walls, says that even if you obey every single rule of the road, there is still a chance that another drivers’ reckless or negligent driving could result in an accident. If you are unfortunate enough to be a part of an accident, here’s what you need to do:

  • If anyone has been injured, you are not allowed to move the vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Take note of what happened immediately before and after the accident in as much detail as you can. For example, did the other driver appear intoxicated? Was he or she talking on a cellphone? Were they driving negligently or too fast?
  • Use your cellphone to take photos of the accident scene from different angles. Include a photograph of the other car’s registration plate, should they try and flee from the accident scene.
  • Source the contact details of the other party involved in the accident. You need their full name, contact numbers (try to get a landline and cell number), address, I.D number, and their vehicle registration number. Check that their car is licensed and ask the owner if the car is insured, and which insurance company it is covered by.
  • Get the contact details of the paramedics, traffic officers and tow truck drivers on the scene so that you can verify any accident details at a later date if necessary.
  • Report to the police within 24 hours of the accident.

Walls concludes, “In 2016 156 road accident deaths were reported over the Easter weekend countrywide. Although this was a decrease from 287 in 2015 it was still considered way too high. At the SAIA, we educate motorists on how to stay safe while driving on our roads. As the 2017 Easter statistics have shot up by an alarming 51%, road users are urged to take road safety more seriously”.