Whether you like it or not – you will always be a statistic. What’s important is to be on the favourable side of the statistic scale when it comes to not-so favourable aspects especially on the road, such as hijackings, accidents or even pothole damage. Easier said than done – especially if we consider that South African roads are dangerous. South Africa has one of the world’s poorest road safety records and while we have made strides in reducing road crash fatalities since their peak in 2006, numbers remain high and recent years have seen an increasing trend once again. In fact, the total cost of road crashes in 2017 amounted to an estimated ZAR 162.05 billion, or 3.5% of GDP. So, while you can’t control the actions of others, you can put your own safety measures in place including:
- Don’t be distracted. Distracted driving is one of the biggest road safety challenges today. Global reports indicate that drivers who do not pay attention while on the road increase their risk of ignoring traffic lights, swerving into other lanes and rear-ending other cars because they cannot stop in time. Sadly, there are significant consequences beyond a simple bumper-bashing. And, while it may be difficult to resist the temptation to use your phone while driving, it could mean the difference between getting to your destination safely or becoming a statistic.
- Be responsible. From slowing down in bad weather conditions, heeding to the speed limit and traffic signs all the way through to not getting behind the wheel if you have been drinking and may be over the legal limit – being responsible starts with you.
- Be alert. The road is full of potential dangers – badly marked road signs, hazards or construction on the road, pedestrians, potholes and of course, potential hijackers are just a few of the potential threats we can come across on our daily commute and as such, remaining alert and vigilant is critical for the safety of yourself, your vehicle and those around you.
- Take safety checks seriously. While the human factor is the primary reason for fatal road accidents, vehicle conditions also play a significant part and as responsible drivers, it is critical that we take safety checks seriously. From regular brake checks to tyre pressure and wear and tear, these are important aspects of vehicle safety.
And if things take a turn for the worst and you do become a statistic, make sure you have the relevant insurance and a vehicle recovery service in place – one that comes with additional value-added services such as pothole and accident assist, like Beame Protect – ensuring you have the right support on the road, should you need it.