Help reduce accidents

2015-08-26 06:00

ACCORDING to the Arrive Alive website, around 10 000 people die annually in traffic accidents, while another 150 000 are injured.

This is an alarming statistic, and the cause of great pain and loss on South Africa’s roads.

A recent vehicle accident in Kathu can serve as a prime example why wearing a seat belt is an absolute necessity for surviving an accident. If the occupant of the vehicle did not wear a seat belt, the end results could have been fatal.

An accident is traumatic enough, and unfortunately it has other far-reaching consequences.

The Arrive Alive website sums up these consequences in a quick, alarming paragraph. “The financial burden of increased death and injury severity can have a major impact on the finances of the government and local communities who deal with road crash victims and their families in the aftermath of a crash.”

Fortunately, there are practical measures that can potentially reduce road accident deaths. The Arrive Alive website states that there is a simple, free way to reduce the unnecessary death toll on the country’s roads. It only involves ten seconds of thought and action, and can save the life of both driver and passenger. ) Always put all children in a proper child seat or harness.

In a 50 km/h crash, a four-year-old weighing 20 kg would hit the first solid object with a force of 400 kg.

Using a properly-fitted child seat or restraint can reduce fatal injuries by up to 75%. ) Always place any loose items in the car boot. When a car comes to a sudden stop in an accident, any loose items in the car has the potential to become a deadly missile.) Always adjust the seat and the head restraint. It is a head restraint not a “head rest” and it is there to prevent or reduce whiplash which is the most common form of injury in a car crash. Even at speeds as low as ten kilometres an hour there is real danger of serious injury.) Lastly, always wear a seat belt and see that everyone in the car is wearing theirs.

Be a responsible road user. Treat the safety of all the occupants in the vehicle as a potential life and death situation. The next time it may very well be just that

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