Tag Archives: accident

Emergency service helping woman

Woman dragged underneath vehicle after getting out of hers to exchange details

A woman from Gauteng is in critical condition after she was dragged underneath a vehicle at the William Nicol and Sandton Drive intersection in Johannesburg on Thursday morning (20th November 2014).

When the paramedics arrived on scene, they found the woman lying in the middle of the road. She had sustained multiple injuries to her head and chest after being dragged beneath the vehicle for some distance.

“It’s understood that the incident occurred when the woman had stopped her vehicle to exchange her details with another driver after a minor collision. The driver apparently sped off, dragging the woman under the vehicle,” said ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring.

The man who dragged her underneath his vehicle has yet to be identified.


Are trucks the major problem on SA’s roads?

Due to South Africa’s poor transport system, trucks need to be used to a great extent to transport commercial goods. However, this is not just damaging SA’s roads, this is also causing a great amount of accidents – in fact it is quite evident how many accident are caused by trucks on South African roads. Heavy vehicles – trucks specifically – make up a large percentage of the total vehicles on a stretch of road and have proved to be a major contributor to road carnage. This begs the question – are (unroadworthy) trucks one of the biggest problems on our roads?

The accident known as the ‘Pinetown Accident‘ as well as the accident that happened on the N12 several weeks ago was caused by trucks that are faulty. This highlighted problems in the trucking industry of South Africa. After this accident, ENCA reported that it is believed two out of three trucks on our roads are unroadworthy.

This issue has become even more evident after yet another hair-raising incident involving an unroadworthy truck carrying scrap metal on the N14 on Tuesday 28 October and once again raised concern that maintenance of many trucks on local roads has hit dangerously low levels. According to Krugersdorp News, due to the high accident rate, the N14 Pinehaven crossing in Muldersdrift has been dubbed the local stairway to heaven and road users are exposed to life threatening scenarios daily.

“The driver of the specific truck found himself in a compromising position when the truck’s brakes failed on a steep hill and weighing in his options he drove into a barrier at the side of the road to bring it to a halt,” explains Chief Provincial Traffic Inspector George Raftopoulos.

On inspecting the vehicle, local traffic authorities came to find that it is one of the most unroadworthy vehicles some have seen in decades. This just adds to the list of truck accidents, most caused by unroadworthiness, aggressive and unskilled driving, which has now become a norm in South Africa.

In an interview with JP Smith, a member of the mayoral committee of safety and security, he comments that it is not necessarily unroadworthy (passenger) vehicles that cause accidents, but heavy vehicles and trucks.. Besides the fact that the vehicle might be faulty, truck drivers tend to take chances on the road. And the drivers of these trucks normally get out alive as they are elivated above passenger vehicle level. 

But, what are South Africans to do except accept the realisation of these deathtraps on our roads? One thing a concerned citizen can do is report bad drivers, unsafe vehicles and reckless and negligent driver behaviour.



michael schumacher

Schumacher’s weekly medical bills will shock you

The amount that Michael Schumacher’s wife is spending on his medical care after he was severely injured in a ski accident last year, is shocking. The Daily Mail reported the F1 legend’s wife is spending the equivalent of R1.7-million per week on his care at their Swiss estate, including an 24/7 medical team and state-of-the-art equipment.

However, this might be all for nothing as medical experts have doubts that Michael Schumacher will ever recover from his brain injuries. They believe Schumacher remains in a “minimally conscious” state and is not yet even sitting up unaided let alone walking or talking.

Hartstein, Shumacher’s doctor said, “As time goes on it becomes less and less likely that Michael will emerge to any significant extent.”

He also stated, ”Life expectancy for a comatose patient who does not improve neurologically is measured in months to relatively few years.”



Bakkie rolls injuring several children

A woman died and 10 others including several children were seriously injured yesterday afternoon at 15:00 when the bakkie they were travelling in  rolled on Cecilia Bridge which runs over the N1 in Paarl.

Police, Fire, Forensic Pathology, Traffic, private and Western Cape Government Health Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and all patients were taken to Paarl Provincial Hospital.

No more details have been released.

Truck accident

Driver training still a challenge in South Africa, but there is hope

Driver training is one of the single biggest interventions that can salvage the tarnished reputation of the transport sector, which is currently seen as a high-risk industry due to the number of buses and trucks causing carnage on South African roads.

Toni Fritz, Head of Vehicle and Asset Finance – Business at Standard Bank, says it is not surprising that investors and financial institutions remain cautious towards the transport sector due to the risks. With 16 000 road deaths annually (43 per day) and more than 100 000 cases of injuries, the South African economy often absorbs the impact. While the transport industry suffers the most, it is also accused of being part of the problem.

Ms Fritz says there is no doubt that poorly developed and maintained driving skills in South Africa are at the heart of the problem. “There is a shortage of 3 000 drivers in the South African transport industry. It is a huge problem but a massive employment opportunity if done right.”

Due to the shortage of skills, many transport operators take the credentials presented by new recruits on face value without adequate verification of their skills.

Furthermore, a large portion of fleet managers do not have the capacity to take their drivers to training courses, and much needed vehicle familiarisation training before putting a driver behind the wheel, due to staff shortages. There is also the fear that skilled drivers will be poached by competitors.

“Whilst truck manufacturers as well as a handful of transport operators in South Africa have state-of-the-art driver training academies reinforced with driving simulators and even medical facilities,  the number of graduates still falls short of industry needs,” says Ms Fritz.

On a positive note, there are signs that the transport industry may have started turning the corner. There seems to be a number of initiatives from the industry itself to do something about the skills crisis.

In various forums, driver training is no longer just one of the issues on the agenda, but has become the topic and focus of dedicated workshops.

Over and above various new training programmes, the industry is considering establishing an academy for professional drivers. “There is now a huge focus on driver training, and Standard Bank is part of it,” says Ms Fritz.

One of the most important industry responses to the crisis is the Road Management Transport System (RTMS), which has already been adopted by major players and is fast catching on.

RTMS is an accreditation system, much like the SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) mark of approval. In fact, RTMS has been developed into a formal industry standard by the SABS.

Ms Fritz says a fleet that can demonstrate that it abides by a full set of operating standards ranging from vehicle maintenance, prevention of overloading, driver wellness and training, can acquire RTMS certification. Like an SABS stamp or ISO accreditation, RTMS certification shows clients and the authorities that a fleet runs safely and efficiently.

“Driver training and development is one of four pillars of RTMS. An accredited fleet must implement an annual training plan and promote safe driving behaviour through mentoring, monitoring, counselling, awareness and education. Detailed records of these interventions must be kept and audited annually in order to qualify for RTMS certification.”

Despite the fact that RTMS is currently a voluntary standard, Ms Fritz says fleets are signing up fast, not least because of the significant efficiency savings that it brings.

Furthermore, a new set of ground-breaking road safety regulations is ready to be signed by the Minister of Transport. When it comes into effect, it will, for the first time, make the clients of transport operators co-responsible for the safety and compliance of the transport operation.

“Clients will therefore think twice before hiring fly-by-night transport operators, and RTMS accreditation will most likely become the norm in the industry. This will push driver training right to the top of the priority list, where it belongs,” concludes Ms Fritz.

michael schumacher

You won’t believe what caused Schumacher’s injury

The well-known French F1 commentator, Jean-Louis Moncet, recently declared that Michael Schumacher who was badly injured in a ski accident, is making progress and “waking up very slowly” at his home in Gland, Switzerland.

This bit of info comes from Michael’s son, Mick. Moncet announced, “I saw his son and he told me that Schumi is waking up very slowly. Although things are going at a slow pace, he has a lot of time, I would say his whole life in front of him to get back on track.” Mick was with his dad when the unfortunate accident happened on December 29th of last year.

There is however an unknown fact that was previously unknown about Schumacher’s accident: Moncet noted that neither the fall or the rock he struck damaged his head. The French F1 commentator revealed: ” the problem for Michael was not the hit, but the mounting of the GoPro that he had on his helmet that injured his brain.”