Vehicle crashes/collisions: Prevention, action and reporting

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By Annalise Kempen

For most road users, vehicle crashes are extremely inconvenient especially when these crashes result in major traffic jams. However, as road users, we must be much more concerned about vehicle crashes as injuries sustained during such crashes are the leading cause of death for children and young people aged between five and 29 years. In December 2023, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that approximately 1.19 million people die each year because of road traffic crashes (WHO, 2023), which means that someone dies every few seconds somewhere in the world due to a vehicle crash. In South Africa it is estimated that around 14 000 people die in vehicle crashes each year (Discovery, nd). In addition to the high rate of fatalities, it is further estimated that an additional 50 million people are injured on the world’s roads each year (RTMC, nd). The WHO further informs us that 92% of the world’s road crash fatalities happen in low and middle-income countries, such as South Africa, although these countries only have 60% of the world’s vehicles. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users and the victims of more than half of all road fatalities (WHO, 2023). The questions all road users must ask include what more can be done to prevent road crashes and what needs to be done after we have been involved in a vehicle crash.

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[This is only an extract of an article that is published in Servamus: February 2024. This article is available for purchase.]

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