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LOOKING AT TRUCK ACCIDENTS DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON.

During the festive season, most people focus on spending time with family and friends, unfortunately, many people fail to recognize the increased risk of truck accidents that accompanies the holiday season. “According to the reports, there were 1390 fatalities recorded in 2019/2020 in comparison to the 2018/2019 figure of 1438 i.e. 3% drop in fatal crashes pedestrians accounted for 40% of deaths, passengers 34%, drivers 25% and cyclists 1%.
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THERE COULD BE SEVERAL FACTORS THAT CAUSE THESE ACCIDENTS, LET’S LOOK INTO THEM.
TIGHT DELIVERY DEADLINES
For truck drivers, the festive season brings in tight delivery deadlines, in many cases their employers may push them to take unsafe risks to meet those delivery deadlines and may lead to truck drivers driving too fast, continue driving despite fatigue, brakes failing, poor visibility at night, bad weather (heavy rain). Tight delivery headlines may lead trucking companies to hire the casual/temporary driver who may have less experience and could lead into causing accidents; truck drivers are more likely to cause an accident either with other vehicles or on their own.
INCREASED TRAFFIC ON THE ROAD
The more people are traveling on the road, the more there are higher chances of an accident happening, people driving recklessly and speeding, some even become impatient leading to cause accidents that can easily be avoided.
HOLIDAY DISTRACTIONS
The holiday season poses distractions for many individuals and truck drivers are no exception to this rule. Even while they’re driving, they may have their minds on other things like upcoming holiday events, looking forward to spending time with family and friends, getting gifts for friends and family. Those kinds of distractions can take a driver’s attention off of the road, using their phones to handle personal responsibilities whilst driving may increase the distraction and accident risk even more.
 
ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE
This is the most common factor that causes accidents on our roads, could either be drunken pedestrians walking in the middle of the road or drivers driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The government should implement strict drinking and driving laws to help reduce the number of accidents caused by drinking and driving.
“The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) together with SANTAM partnered with its Road Safety stakeholders to sharply raise road safety awareness and driver wellness focusing on long distance truck drivers around fatigue and health issues that have a direct impact on truck accidents, ensure that they get enough rest and a maximum of six hours sleep before a long trip, not drive continuously for more than five hours and follow this up with a break of least 15 minutes. SANTAM, South Africa’s largest general insurer and the RTMC continued their partnership that promotes heavy vehicle road safety to reduce the number of preventable truck accidents. In July 2020, the heavy vehicle webinar hosted by the RTMC revealed that in 2019, heavy load vehicles with a mass of 3.5 tons or more were involved in 4% of crashes resulting in 1250 deaths.”
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IMPLEMENTING INDUSTRY STANDARDS
For the trucking and logistics industries, technology can hold some of the answers for example the compulsory use intelligent transport systems like PAISA Technology’s Proximity Warning System(PWS) should be fitted  in all trucks and light delivery vehicles, such technologies can help reduce the number of accidents in the trucking and logistics companies. Having such technology can come in very handy as the system is able to help the driver/companies safe money and increase productivity and raise driver awareness, the system is able to perform real-time object detection using Artificial Intelligence and depth calculation (pedestrians and cyclists), monitor speed, track and monitor driver behaviour, collision avoidance, fatigue detection, fuel management just to mention a few, a real game-changer and peace of mind for the fleet and trucking companies.

Author

Kedebone Motlatla

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