MAP: SA roads some of the most fatal on the globe

Cape Town - It's no secret that South Africa's roads are some of the most deadly in the world.

The statistics are horrifying. During SA's 2015 December holiday season alone, 1 368 people died in road accidents. And over the more recent Easter weekend holiday, 333 more people were killed in road accidents. 

Going on a traditional, nostalgic SA roadtrip, has become a security risk for many South Africans. And with the highly confusing but hilarious road signs around, driving in South Africa could actually be an Olympic sport. 

South Africa's geography has a lot to do with the high fatality rate on the roads. SA's a big country, with towns scattered far and few between. Many road accidents are often results of speeding, or drivers battling fatigue on the long stretches of tar. 

Also, compared to European countries, SA road users rely more heavily on motor transport as opposed to rail and/or air travel (these have much lower accident rates) to reach destinations are often much smaller and isolated. 

But too often, accidents are caused by drunken drivers, and there should be no excuses made for these murderers on SA's roads

All of the aforementioned factors give South Africa a very unappealing road fatality status. On the map below, each country is colour-coded to reflect the number of road fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants per year.

According to the World Health Organization's figures, Eritrea is the deadliest driving destination with 48.4 deaths per 100 000 residents. Thailand is also a very unsafe driving destination with 38.1 deaths per 100 000 residents. South Africa places as the 7th most dangerous country to drive with 31.9 deaths per 100 000 residents, according to the WHO. 

The 10 safest places to drive are: 

1. San Marino - 0 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants
2. Micronesia - 1.8 
3. Maldives - 1.9
4. Norway - 2.9
5. Sweden - 3
6. Denmark - 3
7. Palestinian territories - 3.2
8. Israel - 3.3
9. Switzerland - 3.4
10. UK - 3.5

On the other end of the spectrum, the 10 most dangerous places to drive are:

1. Eritrea - 48.4 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants
2. Dominican Republic - 41.7 
3. Libya - 40.5
4. Thailand - 38.1
5. Venezuela - 37.2
6. Nigeria - 33.7
7. South Africa - 31.9
8. Iraq - 31.5
9. Guinea-Bissau - 31.2
10. Oman - 30.4

South African road users should be aware of the dangers on the roads before embarking on their roadtrips. You can check out these Top 10 tips for a safe holiday roadtrip in SA for peace of mind before your holiday. 

What to read next on Traveller24

8 Nostalgic South African holiday memories

SA's contribution to the World's Weirdest road signs is hilarious

30 lekker things that always satisfy SA road-trip drivers
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.