72% of road fatalities are men

30 September 2020 | Accidents

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



The adverse effects of motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities on families cannot be understated, says the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund.

Namibia records an average of 676 road deaths annually, with men making up 72% of this figure last year.

“We urge male drivers to acknowledge the risks they face as vulnerable road users and adopt safe road use behaviour to minimise the negative psychosocial impact of crashes within our communities. The impact is unfortunately long term with devastating outcomes,” says Surihe Gaomas-Guchu of the MVA Fund. She says the families of those who die in crashes are left with long-term psychosocial effects and financial difficulties.

The Fund has paid out N$288.6 million in 747 claims for loss of support since 2018.

Most of the beneficiaries are children under 21 and widows who had no or little income and were financially dependent on the deceased spouse.

As part of its corporate social investment policy, the fund offers scholarships to students who have lost one or both parents in a car crash.



Counselling

Psychological support is provided to bereaved families in an effort to restore quality of life and mental harm caused by crashes.

The MVA Fund says although psychosocial loss associated with crashes affect people from all backgrounds, single-mother-headed households are most severely affected.

According to the fund's crash data, men are most likely to sustain fatal injuries in crashes, thereby leaving children fatherless and increasing their psychological distress.

It says in recognition of the devastating psychosocial effects and financial burden placed on families by road accidents, the MVA Fund employs particular measures to ease the difficulties.

Dependents of breadwinners killed in crashes are assisted through the disbursement of a loss of support grant.

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