Breadwinners ripped from families

More than 50% of fatalities in Namibian road crashes are passengers and pedestrians, who are effectively innocent bystanders.

09 May 2018 | Accidents

Although statistics for 2018 so far indicate a stark decrease in overall crashes, injuries and lives lost on Namibian roads, children, economically active young people and men remain most at risk of injury and death.

Sidney Boois of the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund told Namibian Sun the statistics of crashes, injuries and fatalities from 1 January to 29 April 2018 “show a substantial reduction”.

Nevertheless, between January and March 2018, youth between the ages of 16 and 35, represented 57% of the total fatalities, followed by children between the ages of zero and 15 - an age group that represented 16% of total deaths.

Statistics on pedestrian fatalities for the same period showed the majority of deaths were in the age group of 16 to 35, which represented 43% of all pedestrian-related fatalities.

“Even though the statistics paint a positive picture on road safety, pedestrian, youth and male-related fatalities still remain a concern,” Boois said.

A recent World Bank report on the high cost of road crashes, and the economic consequences, noted that hypothetically the impact of road crashes and injuries or deaths that result will have macroeconomic “ripple effects”, because they happen most commonly among the economically active age groups.

Recent world health statistics estimate that road injuries or deaths “account for the greatest share of mortality and long-term disability among individuals aged 15 to 29 years, and exact a considerable toll among the working-age population as a whole, aged between 15 and 64 years.”

Moreover, genders impacted are also economically significant.

“Three out of four road deaths are among men, the primary sources of income for households in many societies.”

Furthermore, rural areas often suffer a disproportionate burden as a result of injuries or deaths caused by road accidents.

No change over the years

Statistics published by the MVA Fund in terms of age groups and gender impacted from previous years paint a similar picture.

The fund's 2015 year-end report noted that the most affected by injuries from crashes were young people, mainly between the ages of 16 and 35 years, accounting for 3 721 or 51% of all persons injured in crashes in 2015.

A similar trend was observed in 2014, whereby 56% of the injured persons were young people.

The report noted that another concern are children under 15 years of age, who accounted for 10.9% of those injured in 2015 and who in most cases are vulnerable to pedestrian-related crashes.

The majority of those injured in road crashes in 2014 and 2015 were males.

Similar to the report on injuries, the recorded fatality data for 2015 found the majority who died - 43% - were aged between 16 and 35 years.

A similar pattern was observed in 2014, with 44% of the fatalities being people in this age range.

The 2016, the MVA Fund statistics again found that young people between the ages of 16 to 35 years represented 48% of persons injured and 44% of persons killed in accidents on Namibia's roads.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of persons injured and 72% of those killed in Namibia were male.

Fourteen percent of fatalities were children aged zero to five.

Ripple effect

Horst Heimstädt of the Private Sector Road Safety Forum told Namibian Sun apart from the high financial cost of car crashes, one of the issues that could be attributed to the high rate of fatalities of young people on the roads, could be the “lack of perception of risk”.

He noted that responsibility is taught by experience, and when it comes to road safety, some still consider cars as toys, until that car is involved in an accident.

“Global research has shown that for every crash there are roughly 80 near crashes,” he said.

He further pointed out that more than 50% of fatalities in Namibia are passengers and pedestrians, “innocent bystanders”.

Heimstädt noted that the reduction in crash statistics can be attributed to public education campaigns, in cooperation with improved law enforcement, but warned that without an in-depth analysis of the exact causes, “nobody will be able to claim what has worked”.

He further warned that too many Namibians remain uninterested in the topic until they are directly affected.

Cause for hope

The reduction in crashes, injuries and deaths remains a positive development, the MVA Fund noted.

Compared to the same period last year, 153 people died as a result of car crash related injuries, 79 less people than the year before.

Moreover, 1 828 persons were injured between January and April 2018, compared to 2 251 over the same period in 2017.

In total, 1 087 crashes were recorded during the period this year, compared to a total of 1 298 the year before.

The MVA Fund noted that in total the figures indicate a reduction of crashes, injuries and fatalities by 16%, 19% and 34% respectively.

“The reduction in the year-to-date crash statistics is indeed encouraging and positively reflects on the success of road safety interventions by all road safety partners and stakeholders.”

Boois said the reduced number of accidents could be attributed to a combination of factors, including ongoing as opposed to seasonal road safety campaigns and robust law enforcement and public education.

Moreover, the general public have become actively involved in road safety, by reporting unruly or risky behaviours observed while driving.

Social media and chat platforms have become beehives of alerts shared across cyberspace.

Boois described this as an increase in self-policing by the general public.

“This important concept of self-policing requires all road users to do the right thing all the time, and the right thing is to obey all traffic rules, all the time.”


Similar News


Ongwediva crash kills girl, 8

6 days ago - 12 July 2018 | Accidents

The Oshana police are investigating a case of culpable homicide after a car crash late on Wednesday evening in Ongwediva killed an 8-year-old girl and...

VIP officer arrested for pedestrian's death

1 week ago - 10 July 2018 | Accidents

A VIP directorate police inspector was arrested on Saturday for allegedly driving without a licence and causing an accident in which a pedestrian was killed....

Two killed in drunk driving incident

1 week ago - 09 July 2018 | Accidents

A case of culpable homicide, drunken driving, as well as reckless and negligent driving, has been reported to the Walvis Bay police station after a...

Girl out of school for months after swing accident

1 month - 15 June 2018 | Accidents

A six-year-old learner at the Cabatana private school in Oshakati, who sustained a ruptured liver after being trapped under a swing on the school's playground,...

Risky overtaking blamed for crash

1 month - 08 June 2018 | Accidents

Preliminary investigations indicate that the head-on collision between a bus and a double-cab bakkie between Mariental and Keetmanshoop on Tuesday, which killed four people, could...

Cessna belly-flops at Eros

1 month - 23 May 2018 | Accidents

A small aircraft landed on its belly at Eros Airport in Windhoek yesterday morning. Its 58-year-old pilot was uninjured.The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) confirmed the...

Accident kills six

1 month - 22 May 2018 | Accidents

Six people died when a car overturned between Usakos and Arandis on Sunday.According to the crime investigation coordinator in the Erongo Region, Erastus Iikuyu, the...

Breadwinners ripped from families

2 months ago - 09 May 2018 | Accidents

Although statistics for 2018 so far indicate a stark decrease in overall crashes, injuries and lives lost on Namibian roads, children, economically active young people...

Accidents eat into GDP

2 months ago - 02 May 2018 | Accidents

As the latest year-to-date crash statistics for Namibian roads show a decrease of nearly 35% in fatalities compared to last year for the same period,...

Roadside tragedy claims infant

2 months ago - 25 April 2018 | Accidents

A two-month-old baby died on Monday when a Toyota Corolla taxi rammed into the mother, who was hitchhiking with the infant along the Omungwelume-Oshakati road.The...

Latest News

Calle urges parties to account

20 hours ago | Economics

NDAMA NAKASHOLEFinance minister Calle Schlettwein has urged each political party to remain accountable to the public in regard to the public funds it receives.The figures...

Rest easy, gentle giant

20 hours ago | Opinion

The late Theo-Ben Gurirab was without an iota of doubt a gentle giant, whose life was lived in service and dedication to Namibia's struggle for...

Dangote signs US$650mln Afreximbank loan

20 hours ago | Economics

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has signed a US$650 million loan facility with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) for his oil refinery project in Nigeria.Africa’s...

New revenue agency operational by...

20 hours ago | Government

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein is optimistic that the much-anticipated Namibia Revenue Agency will be operational come 1 March 2019. This will coincide with the start...

Dippenaar blames Joschko for crash

20 hours ago | Justice

Jandré Dippenaar has placed the blame for a crash in which six people died squarely on the shoulders of Markus Walter Joschko, who was also...

CIF, NSI highlight criticality of...

20 hours ago | Economics

STAFF REPORTERAn efficient use of scarce financial resources both in the public and private sector demands an awareness and application of building standards and adherence...

Ramaphosa talks tough on mine...

20 hours ago | Economics

Safety is a huge issue in South Africa’s deep and dangerous mines and increasingly a focus for investors. A spate of deaths at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold...

NAB appoints new CEO

20 hours ago | Agriculture

The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) has announced the appointment of Dr Fidelis Nyambe Mwazi as its newly appointed CEO. Mwazi takes over the reins from...

Seed bill could limit imports...

20 hours ago | Agriculture

The Seed and Seed Varieties Bill, expected to be adopted by the National Assembly, could limit the importing and exporting of seeds, finance minister Calle...

Load More