Between 2019 and 2021, a massive 8 547 young people lost their lives on the roads. The statistics, which were released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), speak about people between the ages of 21 and 34 years old.
The 30 to the 34-year-old age group were most affected
According to RTMC, during this three-year period, people between 30 and 34 years old were the most affected category. A massive 3 661 people in this age category died on the roads due to crashes.
Spokesperson for RTMC Simon Zwane referred to the information as ‘alarming statistics’. Zwane said that young people need to prioritise road safety as they continue with festivities for Youth Month.
What were the main causes of these road crashes?
Speaking about the contributing factors for road crashes, Zwane brought up reluctance to use safety belts, high speeds and driving under the influence of alcohol.
“Factors that contribute to the high number of road fatalities among the youth include persistent risk-taking behaviour such as reluctance to use safety belts, driving at speeds that are too high for circumstances and driving under the influence of alcohol,”said Zwane.
How many deaths were recorded per province according to RTMC?
- Gauteng had 1 380 deaths;
- KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) had 1 235 deaths;
- Eastern Cape had 1 201 deaths;
- Limpopo had 1 127 deaths;
- Mpumalanga recorded 968 deaths;
- Western Cape had 932 deaths;
- The Free State recorded 830 deaths;
- North West accounted for 640 fatalities and;
- The Northern Cape recorded 234 deaths.
Gauteng, KZN, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo account for 57.8% of the road fatalities among the youth.
How much has the SA economy suffered?
It’s been reported that the South African economy lost R188.31 billion last year based on 10 611 fatal crashes. There was a massive loss of 12 454 lives.
CEO of RTMC Adv Makhosini Msibi said the country is facing a crisis on its roads. Msibi said that a large number of the victims of these crashes are the ‘economically active age group’. This is the age group that is needed for the country’s development.
“It is saddening to read in road crash investigation reports that in most cases people die on the roads because of failure to use safety belts. In many instances it has been found that safety belts have been cut off or tied under the seats of vehicles and thus could not be used to save lives,”Msibi said.