Human error still the main cause of fatal road accidents – MVA
The Chief Executive of the MVA FUND, Rosalia Martins-Hausiku confirmed that the situation on the roads remains worrisome as the greatest cause of crashes in the country relates to human factors, which constitutes 70% of all crashes.
Martins-Hausiku said this at the launch of the 2021/22 festive season road safety campaign in eetmanshoop on 25 November.
She said this time of the year brings the joy of rest after a long year of work, family bonding and increased travelling and on the other hand, it is a time that is characterised by road crashes and subsequent injury and fatality.
“Statistics collated by the MVA Fund Emergency Call Centre show that as of 30 September 2021, 71% of total crashes occurred in only five regions, Khomas, Otjozondjupa, Oshona, Erongo and Oshikoto and the same regions constituted 68% of injuries and 49% of fatalities, while males made up 99% of overall deceased drivers,” she informed.
She further said that more shockingly, 66% of drivers were aged between 25 and 44 years and 82% of crashes involved pedestrian collisions and rollovers.
“As these statistics show, the three most common types of crashes are pedestrian-related, rollovers and collisions, resulting in passengers, pedestrians and drivers constituting the most vulnerable road user groups and thus facing serious injury in road crashes,” she emphasised.
She said the impact of such crashes and vulnerability of road users, such as children and pedestrians, results in severe injuries including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and poly-trauma.
“In 2021, we recorded 182 severely injured persons, i.e. 35 cases of traumatic brain injury, 46 cases of spinal cord injury, and 101 cases of poly-trauma injury and in the same period, we received 2405 benefit claims, with the injury grant accounting for 74% of claims received, followed by the funeral grant 18%, loss of support 4.6%, loss of income 2.4% and medical reimbursement at 1% and the total of these benefits costs amounted to N$285.4 million,” she added.
She further expressed that they will increase emergency response capacity on B1 and B2 routes, Paramedics will be stationed at Arandis, Farm Wilhelmsdal, Farm Sukses, Omuthiya, Otjiwarongo and the newly established MVA Fund Service Centre in Otavi along the B1 and B2 routes, first responder simulations will be conducted along the B1 and B2 routes in order to encourage community participation and awareness of road safety.
“We will also start to roll out our Green Dot Programme which deals with public transport passenger safety and will provide defensive driver training to public transport drivers and we will conduct road user education and awareness engagements with pedestrians and risks related to speeding, fatigue, driving under the influence and operation of unroadworthy vehicles with drivers and targeted driver interventions will be undertaken with various motor clubs,” she said.
She emphasised that the Festive Season Road Safety Campaign is an important tool in the country’s efforts to reduce road casualties and it also offers all role-players an opportunity to draw attention to the scale of the emotional and economic devastation caused by road crashes.
“We should therefore avoid the loss of lives on our roads at all cost and I thus plead with all road users, young and old, to reflect on their behaviour when on the roads this festive season,” she said.
She encouraged all road users to practice safe road user behaviour, and call the MVA Fund Accident Response Number, 9682, to report crashes as doing so can save lives.