Fikile Mbalula picked up a lot of heat on Twitter. It came after he noted that the majority of car accidents take place close to home. Actually, it’s the second time in a matter of days that the transport Minister experienced a lot of dragging on social media. But this time, his claims about car accidents seem correct. Mind you, critics think his department could also do much to help prevent accidents with road maintenance.
Fikile Mbalula says more accidents happen closer to home, people disbelieve him
With traffic accidents over the festive season emerging, the minister shared an interesting tidbit. His tweet indicated that more than half of “fatal crashes” take place between Friday and Sunday. And they happen close to home. Immediately, suspicious some people feared the government might use it against people for further curfews and lockdowns. @PrivilegedNot tweeted, “Looks like we getting somewhere even if it’s by trial and error and wild speculation… looks like we have the answer to lockdowns. Monday – Thursdays we can lead normal lives, Friday -Monday we must all be locked inside and go nowhere! evade the virus and hospitals remain empty!”
Meanwhile, others suggested that potholes and bad road maintenance probably contributed. Actually, the last time people dragged Fikile Mbalula, many South Africans complained that he tweets a lot but that seldom translates into any action. However, in his tweet about accidents, some people suggested he’s lost it and makes up facts. Heated comments went his way. @ManablazeMick wrote “So, dont hurt yourself on this one, but why were the travellers still traveling if they’d already reached their destinations? You keep looking for stuff after you’ve found it don’t you?”
Nevertheless, clearly, the minister meant that people drive for some distance to reach their suburb and that’s when accidents take place.
More than half (54,3%) of fatal crashes occurred on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, suggesting that the majority of crashes took place within residential areas long after travellers had reached their destinations. pic.twitter.com/9DLfztH1jT
— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) January 22, 2021
Trafiic accident studies
Studies overseas in the UK and the USA point out the same fact. Actually, in many places, most accidents, fatal ones included, often happened within a 15-minute drive or so from home. altrialor.com notes that in the USA, the reasons are a combination of issues. One of those refers to the fact that people became less vigilant in their comfort zones. Parked vehicles on the roadside also contribute to accidents. Often, after a long day out, drivers may feel tired and fatigued. It only takes a small slip in concentration for something bad to happen.
Notably, some accidents involve unlicensed drivers. Or underage ones. After all, way too many people think nothing of driving around their suburb close to home. These problems probably also occur in South Africa. So, it seems that Fikile Mbalula simply cites that statistics and there’s no malevolent deeper meaning to it.
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