Pretoria – A study has found that South Africa’s much-loved Volkswagen Polo contributes to the largest fatal crashes in the country, followed by the Toyota Hilux and the Toyota Quantum which is popular as a taxi.
The study conducted by the Road Traffic Management Corporation has revealed that the Volkswagen Polo, the Toyota Hilux and the Toyota Quantum also account for the highest number of speed infringement fines issued in South Africa.
A baseline study – titled South African Fatal Crashes in Context – which was published last month analysed fatal crash data from October 1 2017 to June 30 2021 a period of almost four years.
It also analysed the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) speed infringement data from January 1, 2019 to June 20, 2021.
“A total of 48 330 vehicles were involved in 37 583 fatal crashes with 45 232 deaths during the period according to data on the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s national crash data management system,” the RTMC said in a statement.
“An analysis of the top 20 vehicle models involved in fatal crashes showed that the Volkswagen Polo, Toyota Hilux and Toyota Quantum were involved in 43.2% of fatal crashes. The Volkswagen Polo came out on top, with a contribution of 16.7% of all fatal crashes, confirming what many South Africans have long suspected.”
On that notorious list, the RTMC said the VW Polo was followed closely by the Toyota Hilux which was involved in 14.2% of fatal crashes and the Toyota Quantum with a recorded 12.2% involvement in fatal crashes.
“These three vehicle models also accounted for the highest number of Aarto speed infringement fines issued by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department, Tshwane Metro Police Department, the Gauteng Department of Community Safety, and the National Traffic Police,” the RTMC said.
A total of 35% of speed infringement fines were issued to these three vehicle models in the period under review, even though they constituted 33% of the total vehicle population in South Africa.
“The high number of speed infringements committed by public transport type of vehicles such as the Toyota Quantum is unacceptable and needs to be addressed,” the RTMC said.
“Although it is expected that public transport vehicles will be involved in crashes because they are on the road on a semi-full-time basis and travel more million vehicle kilometres compared to other vehicle models, their contribution to fatalities remains unacceptably high considering that they constitute a mere 3.3% of the total vehicle population.”
The study also found that Volkswagen Polo and Toyota Quantum vehicles aged between five to 10 years were involved in most fatal crashes when ranked by the grouping of vehicle make, model and age.
The RTMC said the report will inform further research that will provide input towards reducing death and injuries because of road crashes.