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Port Elizabeth the safest place to drive in South Africa

OCTOBER 22, 2015
Port Elizabeth the safest place to drive in South Africa

Port Elizabeth is South Africa’s safest driving city according to driving behaviour analysis in this year’s Discovery Insure Driving Challenge with the best drivers overall in the country. CapeTown is in second place, and Bloemfontein in third place while Nelspruit is at the bottom of the rankings.

Discovery Insure analysed the driving behaviour of the 10 largest metropolitan areas in South Africa. The statistics are based on more than 30 000 South Africans who downloaded the free Discovery Insure app and are currently participating in the Challenge.

This is the second year that the Discovery Insure Driving Challenge has run, allowing Discovery Insure to compare thisyear’s data to the 2014 Challenge; and the results indicate an improvement in driving behaviour.

Overall driving behaviour has improved by more than 10% from last year, and the greatest area of improvement has been a reduction in phone motion of 22%. In 2014, the data collected from the Discovery Insure Driving Challenge showed that if a driver uses their mobile phone once during a trip, the result is an average of 52 seconds of distracted driving. This is equivalent to driving blind for one kilometre at 60km/h and makes the driver four times more likely to have an accident during that trip.

Port Elizabeth’s greatest areas of improvement are; lower levels of speeding coupled with fewer distracted driving events that mostly involve phone use while driving. The analysis reveals that drivers in large urban areas are more prone to distracted driving events. Pretoria and Johannesburg based drivers use their cell phones more frequently while driving on the roads.

Although Nelspruit drivers score well on acceleration and braking, they score poorly for speeding. This currently places them at the bottom of the table.

Discovery Insure Driving Challenge ranking of the safest driving cities:

  1. Port Elizabeth
  2. Cape Town
  3. Bloemfontein
  4. Polokwane
  5. Johannesburg
  6. Pretoria
  7. Pietermaritzburg
  8. East London
  9. Durban
  10. Nelspruit

Overall, women score better in driving areas like smooth acceleration, balanced cornering, and not speeding, while men score better in gentle braking and using their cell phones less while driving. The driving behaviour of participants in the Discovery Insure Driving Challenge improves with age, with users 50 years and older scoring more than 14% higher than those 30 years and younger.

Discovery Insure have also added a new area of research on the personality types associated with driving behaviours. The research was conducted by survey and grouped participants into one of five personality clusters. The research aims to determine which personality types are the safest drivers. While not unexpected the results have shown that conscientious people are the safest drivers, while extroverted drivers are at the other end of the spectrum.


Making South Africa’s roads safer

According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation around 5 500 people were killed on South Africa’s roads from April to August this year, with private vehicles contributing to half these fatalities. There are 1.24 million deaths each day on the world’s roads, and South Africa’s over 15 000 road fatalities cost the economy R307 billion every year.

With October being Transport month, Discovery aims to encourage everyone using our roads to drive more safely, and reduce the road death toll.

“Innovative technologies, such as the telematics that Discovery Insure uses to make members more aware of their driving behaviour, has the potential to dramatically improve the safety of South Africa’s roads,” says Discovery Insure CEO, Anton Ossip.

“A model which rewards good driving has clear benefits for a country where road deaths are a growing problem and we have seen the behavioural improvements our clients have made. The Driving Challenge is proof that this model works.”

Furthermore, it is clear that safe driving behaviour has advantages beyond those for the individual. Johannesburg is hosting the second global EcoMobility world festival in Sandton during October to try to encourage commuters to explore more ecomobile ways to get to work, including carpooling, public transport, and walking and cycling.

“In light of the EcoMobility world festival, it is an important moment to remind people that driving safely helps to reduce carbon emissions as well as making our roads safer for everyone using them,” said Ossip. 

Source: ArriveAlive