With a road death toll of 22.5 per 100 000 people, South African roads are among the most dangerous in the world. During the Easter holidays in 2018, road fatalities rose by 14% according to the National Transport Department. Anton Ossip, CEO of Discovery Insure says distracted driving is a growing concern on our roads and the numbers provide a warning for families hitting the roads this holiday. A single instance of cellphone use represents an average of 52 seconds of distracted driving. At 60km/h that’s equivalent to driving “blind” for a whole kilometre.
“Over 90% of road accidents are caused by driving behaviour,” he says. “This is good news because, as our Vitality Drive data indicates, people can change their behaviour resulting in significant driving improvements and safer roads for all.”
Discovery Insure’s Vitality Drive programme monitors driving behaviour across 167 000 clients to encourage and reward good driving. It identifies risky profiles and behaviours to raise awareness and provide advice on how to make South Africa’s roads safer for all.
Research shows that drivers who use a cellphone while driving are eight times more likely to have a collision than those who don’t. Texting reduces your reaction time by 35%.
Younger people are also at higher risk of being distracted while driving with research carried out by Discovery in 2018 showing that drivers aged between 18 and 25 are the most distracted drivers, followed by drivers aged 26 to 35.
Parents with three or more children are approximately 20% more distracted on the roads compared with those with fewer children or those with no children. Parents with more children are also more likely to drive more frequently for their children’s activities, putting them at higher risk of being in an accident whenever they drive.
Travellers flying to their Easter holiday destination also have the option to hire a car with Avis to access Discovery Insure’s technology and safety features and the peace of mind of zero car hire liability in the case of an accident. With Avis SafeDrive, those who achieve a daily driving score of 80 or more by driving safely, also earn daily rewards like coffees, smoothies, and meals.