A new report highlights the significant impact road traffic crashes (RTCs) have on the South African society in terms of human lives lost, pain, grief and suffering, and the increasing cost to the economy.
The report issued by the Road Traffic Management Cooperation (RTMC), found that the total cost of RTCs on South Africa’s road network for 2015 amounted to an estimated R142.95 billion – equating 3.4% of GDP.
The report, in partnership with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), details costs from 2015 as 2016 data is not yet available. In 2015, a total of 12,944 fatalities in 10,613 fatal RTCs were recorded by the RTMC.
Human casualty costs comprised 69.3% of the total RTC cost of R142.95 billion, with vehicle repair accounting for 14.9% of the total, and incident costs 15.8%.
Fatal crashes constituted 43.4% of the total cost, major crashes 21.5%, minor crashes 14.1% and damage only crashes 22.0%, the report said.
The report found that the average crash cost R171 727 in 2015. A fatal accident cost as much as R5 435 261; while an accident without any injuries cost an average of R48,533.
The Road Accident Fund (RAF), the public entity which compensates people injured in road accidents in South Africa , said in its annual report last month that the average value of a claim paid increased by 24% from R114,969 to R143,127, while claims processing improved by 15% to R32.3 billion.
The RAF said that the average claimant legal and other costs paid per claim increased by 33% from R90,563 to R120,385.
It added that the average RAF legal and other costs paid per claim increased by 32% from R21,564 to R28,476.