N3 TOLL ROUTE – Analysis of crash data shows significant impact of human behaviour on road safety

08 August 2019 | Road Safety Highlights


N3 Toll Concession (N3TC), the company managing the N3 Toll Route between Cedara in KwaZulu-Natal and Heidelberg in Gauteng, carefully keeps and interrogates all traffic data on the N3 route in an effort to enhance safety, convenience and mobility along this transport corridor. “Road safety is always top of mind. It is for this reason that we share regular updates with our road users about traffic patterns, causes of crashes, route conditions, weather changes and emergency situations,” explains N3TC’s traffic manager, Miles le Roux. 

From the data gathered over many years on the N3 Toll Route, it is clear that the majority of crashes are caused by human error, whether it is negligent driving, lack of concentration, ignoring warnings and/or a disregard of basic safety measures.  

During the first six months of 2019, 588 crashes occurred on the N3 Toll Route. Thirty-nine of these crashes were fatal resulting in 61 fatalities. Fourteen pedestrian crashes were reported during the same period of which the majority (10) were fatal. “On the positive side, the number of pedestrian crashes continues to show a downward trend, from 25 during the same period in 2017 to 19 in 2018 and now 14 in 2019. But even a single fatality is still one too many,” stresses le Roux. 

The most dominant type of crashes during 2019 were vehicles leaving the road (32.5%), vehicles rolling (14.7%), damage at plazas (11%) and head-tail collisions (10.8%). 

“Crashes where vehicles roll or leave the road are single vehicle crashes, meaning drivers are not controlling their vehicles well enough,” explains le Roux. 

The number of crashes involving heavy motor vehicles totalled 287. “This means that 49% of all crashes involve trucks despite heavy vehicles only representing 35% of the total traffic on the N3 Toll Route. Although this number is marginally lower than the 2018 figure of 296 (or 50% of all crashes) it remains an area of serious concern.”

Number of runaway trucks cause for concern

“Very worrying for N3TC is the increase in the number of runaway trucks on Van Reenen’s Pass apparently due to brake failure. We appeal to the cargo industry and all vehicle and fleet owners, indeed every driver, to help ensure that vehicles are roadworthy and in excellent mechanical condition. Regular vehicle maintenance goes a long way to limiting road catastrophes and loss of lives,” continues le Roux.  

WOMEN’S DAY LONG WEEKEND

Traffic forecast for 08 – 11 August

The grid below provides an overview of expected traffic volumes along the N3 Toll Route over the upcoming long weekend. It is recommended to travel outside of peak traffic periods, but if these periods cannot be avoided, motorists are encouraged to plan for congestion and to expect possible delays. 

GREEN:              Light to slight increase in volumes < 800 vehicles per hour (vph) in a particular peak direction
YELLOW:           Busy traffic conditions with 800 – 1500 vehicles per hour (vph) in a particular peak direction
RED:                  Heavy (high) traffic volumes (with slow-moving conditions) > 1500 vehicles per hour (vph) in a particular direction
SB:                    Southbound towards KwaZulu-Natal 
NB:                   Northbound towards Gauteng

No or limited works during peak times 

N3TC is very aware of its obligations and expectations to deliver a world-class road whilst minimising traffic disruptions.  During the upcoming long weekend, road works will be limited to absolutely essential maintenance work, and only if required. All major construction work will cease from 08 - 11 August and will recommence immediately after the long weekend.

Stay up to date with important road and traffic news 
N3TC recommends that all road users always verify current travel conditions prior to departure and during their trips with the 24-hour N3TC helpline on 0800 63 4357 or via Twitter: @N3Route. These communication channels can also be used to report any problems, emergencies and/or suspicious activities. 

The N3TC helpline is directly linked to the N3TC Route Control Centre (RCC) which acts as a central communication point for the N3 Toll Route. All incidents and emergencies are reported to the RCC and emergency assistance is dispatched from here. 

“Our Route Control Centre is the nerve centre of the N3 Toll Route. If anything happens on the route, the RCC knows about it and also how best to respond. It is a vitally important part of our operations and a key early-warning system. We appeal to road users to stay in touch with N3TC by making use of this service,” ends le Roux.
 

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