For the fifth straight year the number of people killed in road crashes in South Africa increased in 2018.

The provisional number of 380 deaths continues a tragic trend of more deaths and injuries from road crashes since the record low year of 2013, when 253 people died.

The Automobile Association (AA) South Africa is urging all road users to think about how they can help make roads safer in 2019.

“When people think about fatal crashes they generally think about behaviour like someone driving drunk or at extreme speeds but this is only part of the picture,” said the AA’s Dylan Thomsen.

“A study by the AA Research Foundation found that about half of fatal crashes involved extreme and reckless behaviour but the other half tended to involve ordinary, everyday drivers who might make a mistake or a bad decision behind the wheel with tragic results.”

Thomsen urged drivers to think about their own behaviour on the roads and if there are things drivers could do better this year.

“Along with all the big-picture actions from the Government and authorities, improving safety needs the millions of individuals out on the roads every day to do what they can to reduce the risks,” he said. “Simple things like always wearing buckling up, driving to the conditions, keeping a good following distance and avoiding distractions may not seem like much but when you have millions of people doing them they add up to make a real difference.”