In order to fully understand the extent of the Road Safety problem within South Africa, it is important to have an appreciation for the road environment, driver population, driver behaviour, accident record etc. which are all contributing factors to South Africa's road safety problems.
South Africa has one of the worst road safety records in the world, recording road accident related deaths of approximately 120,000 people per annum and injuries in excess of a million people per annum. This annual road carnage costs the South African economy in the order of R43 billion (2005).
Traffic growth in South Africa has been increasing at an alarming rate and the annual traffic growth on South African roads was estimated at 5.22% between 2007 and 2008. The registered vehicle population for 2008 amounted to approximately 5,2 million cars (excluding heavy vehicles and buses) with approximately 430,000 (8%) vehicles that were unregistered or unroadworthy. The average occupancy of vehicles was estimated at 6.2 persons.
Fatalities from road traffic accidents in 2008 amounted to 11,577. Road accident fatalities is on the increase as the road accident fatalities over the last 14 years has increased from 25.1 fatalities per 100,000 population in 1994 to 30.3 fatalities per 100,000 population in 2008.
The figure above shows the number of vehicle crashes by type of vehicle for every 10,000 registered vehicles within South Africa for the 2006/07 and 2007/08 periods. The following observations were made:
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