Tag Archives: accident

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.”





What to do in the event of a car accident

Have you ever wondered what you should do in the event of a car accident? I know I have – and frankly too many people are confused when it comes to the procedures following an accident. We received some information from the AA of South Africa, and they told us what the law states about car accidents.

In terms of Section 61 of the National Road Traffic Act (93 of 1996), a driver is obliged to do the following when involved in a vehicle accident:

1. Immediately stop the vehicle
2. Ascertain the nature and extent of any injury sustained
If a person is injured, render assistance as he / she is capable of rendering.
3. Ascertain the nature and extent of damage sustained.
4. If required to do so, give his / her name and address, the name and address of the owner of the vehicle, as well as the registration number to any person having reasonable grounds for the information
5. Report the accident at a police station within 24 hours and produce the drivers licence.
6. Do not take any intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug unless prescribed by a medical practitioner.

On a practical level being involved in an accident is a traumatic event. It is quite easy to forget your responsibilities and to act out of character, however it is very important to make sure that as the driver you obtain as much information from the driver of the other vehicle. Typically you would need the other driver’s name and address, identity number, make of vehicle as well as the vehicle registration number. If either of the driver’s are injured and cannot communicate, one would need to obtain as much information as possible about that driver.

You would also need to accurately identify the location of the accident. If necessary, measure it by pacing out the distance to a recognisable fixed point. A simple sketch plan of the accident could prove to be invaluable – especially if a court case results from the collision. Photographs of the vehicles, where a camera is available, is always a good idea.

If your vehicle needs to be towed to a panel beater, contact your insurer and be guided by them as to who to call to do the recovery and where to take the vehicle.

When dealing with recovery companies, always establish the towing and recovery rate and never sign a blank towing form. Once again you would need to obtain as much information about the tow operator as possible before you agree to the recovery.

Also remember that, if you come across an accident on the side of the road- always stop and help if you can and if you are with someone else preferably. You never know when you might save a life.


This man gives car-pool a new meaning

This incident gives a new meaning to the phrase ”car pool”. Yesterday The Independant reported that an 85-year-old man was left shocked but luckily unharmed on Saturday after he somehow managed to entangle his flip-flops with the pedals of his car and launch the vehicle into a backyard pool at his home in California.

The man was allegedly attempting to park his car in the garage when his flip-flop got caught in the pedal and he lost control of the vehicle and drove it through a rear garage door and into the pool where it ended up fully submerged.

This story is yet further proof that the humble flip-flop is not only a fashion crime, but is also a danger to the well-being of people everywhere.



Axe flies into car’s windshield – driver survives!

Wow, imagine this! An axe slipped from a landscaper’s truck and landed in the windshield of the car behind the truck.

The Massachusetts State Police posted a photo of the incident to Facebook and had this to say:
The man whose car was struck was obeying the speed limit, driving about 65 mph. If he had been speeding, the increased velocity of his car would have increased the power of the axe’s impact, meaning it could very well have gone through the glass and injured his passenger.

If the truck driver was driving just a little bit faster, the axe could have nearly killed the driver. Talk about narrowly escaping death! Police fined the driver of the axe truck $200 for failing to secure the truck’s cargo.

(Source: Someecards)


Jeep Cherokee interior

Woman’s hair causes her death in car crash

A young woman has died in a car crash in Italy after her long hair became entangled with the steering wheel of the car, which caused the car to swerve across the road into oncoming traffic.

Her brother was with her in the car. After the police cut them free from the wreckage, they were immediately taken to a hospital, where the 21-year-old girl passed away.

Her brother, who was reported to be driving the car, said the accident happened after his sister wound down her window, causing her hair to fly about.

(Source: IOL Motoring)