Miles le Roux, N3TC’s transport engineer, said single-vehicle crashes were a direct result of human error and constituted the majority of crashes on the N3 toll route. Photo: ER24
Miles le Roux, N3TC’s transport engineer, said single-vehicle crashes were a direct result of human error and constituted the majority of crashes on the N3 toll route. Photo: ER24

Human error, a major factor in crashes on N3 toll route

By Sakhiseni Nxumalo Time of article published Dec 13, 2019

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Durban - Between January and October this year, a total of 933 crashes were reported on the N3 highway, with 315 cars and 255 trucks involved in single-vehicle crashes.

This is according to the N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) which manages the N3 Toll Route between Cedara in KwaZulu-Natal and Heidelberg in Gauteng.

According to the company, the N3 is one of the busiest freight routes, accounting for about 38% of traffic on the highway, while daily commuters and leisure travellers make up the balance of traffic. At peak times, traffic volumes can increase to well over 2000 vehicles an hour.

Miles le Roux, N3TC’s transport engineer, said single-vehicle crashes were a direct result of human error and constituted the majority of crashes on the N3 toll route. Le Roux said that of the total number of crashes recorded this year, the main types were vehicles leaving the road or rolling, followed by head-tail collisions, sideswipes, and multiple pile-ups.

He said their crash data spoke volumes about road safety and where serious individual interventions were required.

“These factors all point to negligent driving; speeding, lack of concentration, distractedness, ignoring road signs, and vehicles in a poor mechanical order, leading to brake failure or tyre bursts. All are avoidable if drivers would just pay closer attention.

“It should not be difficult to bring the number of these types of crashes down, but it would require a committed effort from all drivers to adhere to the rules of the road, to drive more defensively and to guard against complacency,” said Le Roux.

According to the report, the majority of crashes (82.5%) on the route happened in clear weather.

This year, 480 accidents happened during the day, while 453 happened at night.

“Some 56% of night-time crashes were reported as serious (with severe injuries or fatalities), while 44% of daytime crashes were serious. The majority of daytime crashes were slight or without injuries.

“These statistics underscore our recommendation rather to travel during the day than at night,” added Le Roux.

With the festive season approaching, Le Roux urged drivers to be extra vigilant on the roads.

“Avoid distractions such as using your mobile devices or allowing interferences from your passengers while you are driving. Make sure that you stay alert at all times, and stop to rest and refresh the minute that you feel your concentration starts to wane,” he said.

The Mercury

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