Earlier this month, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) released the annual road death statistics report and it is cause for great concern’, comments the Automobile Association.

The RTMC’s figures for January to December 2016 shows that 14071 people died on South African roads last year, a nine percent increase on the 2015 figure of 12944.

SA road fatalities

More than 1120 more people died on the roads in 2016 than in 2015. This is the highest annual road death toll since 2007 when 14920 people died on South African roads. In 2006, 15419 people died on the country’s roads.

The AA said: “The annual road fatality statistics for 2016, published recently by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), are cause for great concern, and point to an urgent need for combined interventions from everyone involved in road safety in South Africa to curb the rising numbers.”

SA Road Fatalities: 2017 – 2016 by RTMC

Human factors – drunk driving 

Human factors are indicated as the biggest contributor to road crashes and fatalities, accounting for 77.5% of contributing factors. Vehicle factors (6%) and road and environmental factors (16.5%), make up the balance of contributing factors.

Among the human factors that lead to crashes, and deaths, are jaywalking pedestrians (38.8%), hit and run crashes (18.5%), high speed (14.1%), overtaking in the face of oncoming traffic (6.9%), drunk driving or driving while on drugs (3.6%), and driver fatigue (2.2%).

Road User Group fatalities % breakdown 2016

Highest road death toll in SA

The statistics show Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have the highest percentage of road deaths in the country, each contributing just under 20% to the national total. In Gauteng 2700 people died on the roads, while 2715 died in KwaZulu-Natal. The Northern Cape (409 deaths), the Free State (992 deaths), and North West (1084 deaths) had the lowest death rates contributing 2.9%, 7%, and 7.7% the national total respectively.

South African Road fatality figures 2016

Vulnerable pedestrians

Pedestrians remain the most vulnerable of all road users; 5410 of the 14071 deaths were pedestrians, or 38% of the total number.

Provincial Road Fatalities

Education is required  

The AA said a wider approach to road safety education is needed in schools, teaching children from a young age to be better road users. In addition, law enforcement initiatives should be supported in the courts with traffic offenders being given the harshest possible penalties.

We all know the importance of obeying the rules of the road and driving responsibly, but the reality is that a serious accident can take place at any time. Matrix understands that in the event of an accident, every minute counts. We pride ourselves on our personal safety features, such as the Matrix Crash Alert system that contains a crash sensor which will alert the control room if you are involved in an accident

How does Crash Alert work?

All MX3 units are fitted with an impact sensor that will send an alert if your vehicle is involved in an accident. Matrix will then immediately receive a signal from the unit. After assessing the situation, help will be dispatched to the exact location of the vehicle using the GPS co-ordinates from your Matrix unit.

Matrix’s Crash Alert feature provides peace of mind that emergency assistance is always at hand when you need it most.

Source: Automobile Association of South Africa