As usual, SA’s death toll on the roads skyrocketed over the holiday season. Here are some need-to-know road-related facts.
- Worldwide, male drivers have a higher risk of dying in a car accident than women due to their inclination to speed more, drink more and take more risks
- In South Africa, the major contributory factors to festive season fatal crashes are drunk driving, speeding, overtaking when unsafe to do so, fatigue, overloading of vehicles and a tyre bursting.
- Deaths from road accidents are at least twice as high in South Africa as the global average.
- The most dangerous drivers are young men.
- While women are statistically safer on the road, they have just as many accidents as men; however, they tend to be minor fender-benders, while men are usually involved in more serious collisions.
- Cautious old ladies are more inclined to die behind the wheel than speeding teenage boys – not because they’re reckless, but because they’re frail and less likely to survive injury.
- In SA, according to stats released in 1998, your likelihood of being in a fatal crash between midnight and 4am is four times higher than during daytime.
- Motorbikes are especially vulnerable on the road as motorists regularly fail to see them, and intersections are the most likely place for a motorcycle accident to occur.
- In the US, of all road users, four-year-olds have the lowest death risk – probably because they’re in child car seats, and their parents drive more carefully.
- In the UK and the US, the drivers of station wagons have a death rate of less than half the national average for cars due to the fact that they’re safer on the roads and their drivers tend not to take risks.