R21 Accident Leaves One Person Dead
R21 Accident Leaves One Person Dead: A man has been killed and another injured in a three-vehicle collision on the R21 near the Nellmapius turn-off yesterday morning. ER24 paramedics, along with other services, arrived on the scene and found the highway congested with heavy traffic. A large truck and bakkie were found on the side of the road while a light motor vehicle was found on the middle isle, Russel Meiring, spokesman for ER24 said. “The bakkie was found to have sustained a large amount of damage, after the truck had overturned, crushing the bakkie beneath it. Upon assessment, paramedics found the body of a man trapped inside the bakkie. Unfortunately, the man had already succumbed to injuries,” Meiring added. The driver of the truck was assessed by paramedics and found to have sustained only moderate injuries.
The biggest cause of road crashes in South Africa is driver error. It is generally accepted that 85-90% of road crashes can be attributed to driver error. This includes not only the honest mistake or error in judgement, but also driver recklessness, driver inattention and many other factors. When driving defensively, we’re aware and ready for whatever happens. We are cautious, yet ready to take action and not put our fate in the hands of other drivers. It is important to stay alert to weather and traffic reports and to avoid the threats posed by heavily congested traffic and conditions such as snow and ice, mist and fog, heavy winds, veld and forest fires etc. Safe road conditions cannot be assumed and chances should never be taken. Even light rain can produce dangerous conditions, particularly early in the season when the water picks up oil from the road surface, making it slippery. Tyres lose their grip at higher speeds, so slowing down in inclement weather is a fundamental defensive-driving technique.
- Continuously look in your mirrors and scan the road ahead, checking for hazards and slowing traffic so you can anticipate problems before they develop.
- Try to see what is happening in front of the car ahead of you.
- Always be aware of what is on your right, your left and behind you.
- Look at the front wheels of the cars parked on the side of the road. If you see a car with the wheels turned to the right, is it going to suddenly pull out?
- Follow the flow of traffic. Driving too slow can be dangerous, too. Drive at speeds that most other vehicles are going [within the speed limit, of course.].
- Watch out for the other guy. Part of staying in control is being aware of other drivers and road users around you (and what they may suddenly do) so you’re less likely to be caught off guard.
- Do not assume safety from other drivers or make assumptions as to their sobriety, alertness and intentions with regards to safety.
- Do not assume another driver is going to move out of the way or allow you to merge.
- Anticipate what another driver might do wrong [worst case scenarios] and make the appropriate adjustment to reduce your risk.
- Assume that drivers might run through stop signs or red lights and be prepared to react.
- Defensive drivers approach intersections with caution, regardless of green or red lights.
- They anticipate light changes, lane changes and vehicles and pedestrians entering from either side, as well as drivers moving off before the light has changed to green.
- Follow the rules of the road but do not try to “enforce” them by contesting the right of way or trying to race another car, or deliberately driving very slowly to make your point to the driver behind you.
- Do not depend on other drivers. Be considerate of others but look out for yourself.
- Be courteous, kind and respectful to other motorists.
- Learn to make eye to eye contact with drivers and pedestrians. That way you know they see you. Be prepared for the unexpected.
- Also, keep an eye on pedestrians, bicyclists, and pets along the road.
- Be extra careful where a vehicle has darkly tinted glass and you cannot see whether the drive has noticed your approach, particularly at intersections.