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.
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
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.
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Source: Automobile Association of South Africa