On Monday evening (30 April) at around 18:00, three trucks collided on the R24, resulting from a classic combination of excessive speed, driver inattentiveness and inadequate following distance. Three trucks ended up rear-ending each other, and emergency personnel at the scene had to use cutting tools and winches to free two of the drivers who were trapped as a result of a blunt force collision. “The first truck in the queue had been stationary and positioned in the left lane of the busy highway. The second and third truck rammed into the first one at excessive speed,” says Paul Nel from Matrix Road Safety Association, who arrived at the scene shortly after the accident took place.
He believes the accident could have been prevented had the drivers adhered to the basic road rules. “Vehicles should not stop on a highway, or; if stopped as a result of a breakdown, use warning flashers and reflective triangles to warn other traffic. The trucks should also have left an adequate three second or longer following distance. Most importantly the drivers should have driven at a speed from which they could stop safely. One can measure this distance by using the distance you can see in your headlights,” says Nel.
The scene took three and a half hours to clear and there was massive traffic disruption to both the R24 and R21 highways traffic flow, as a result of spilled diesel and the rescue scene itself. “Two of the drivers suffered injuries that were consistent with this type of collision, namely trauma to the head, chest and extremities. They were transported to hospital by Emer-G-Med ambulances,” he concludes.