The commencement of the 2017/18 Festive Season Road Safety Campaign indicates an increase in crashes (21%) and injuries (29%), while the number of fatalities have significantly reduced by 67% between 22 and 26 November 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016.

A total of 52 crashes rendered 97 persons with varying degrees of injury while 2 people lost their lives. Most crashes were recorded in Khomas (26) followed by Erongo (9) and Otjozondjupa (5) regions. Oshikoto, Kunene and Hardap recorded the lowest number of crashes with one (1) crash each.  Fatalities were recorded in Kunene and Oshana with one (1) fatality per region.

Roll-overs recoded the highest number of crashes (19) and injuries (50) while collisions recorded 15 crashes and 25 injuries. Factors such as driver fatigue, inattentiveness, inappropriate driver behaviour, driving under the influence of alcohol and exceeding prescribed speed limits contribute to the occurrence of these types of crashes. Furthermore, the extent of injury sustained in these crashes increases the likelihood of fatality as roll-overs and collisions claimed 50% each of total fatalities.

During the Festive Season period, driver fitness, vehicle fitness and passenger safety are the main areas of focus, and given the above scenario, the MVA Fund implores the following:

1.    Driver Fitness:
-     Ensure physical wellbeing to avoid fatigue;
-    Carry a valid driving licence at all times;
-    Refrain from driving while under the influence of alcohol;

2.    Vehicle Fitness:
-    Ensure that your vehicle tyres are in good condition;
-    Switch on headlamps at all times;
-    Pay particular attention to wiper blades to enhance visibility during rain.  

3.    Passenger Safety:
-    Ensure your safety by wearing a seatbelt;
-    When using public transport, ensure to pen your details on the passenger list;
-    Drivers, do not overload vehicles as overloaded vehicles are harder to control, more unstable and more difficult to stop in an emergency and consequently endangers the lives of passengers and other road users.

The MVA Fund once again reminds the public to report crashes to the MVA Fund Accident Response Number 081 9682, as doing so can save a life, and to follow us on Facebook or Twitter for road safety tips.