23 Jun 2015 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 23 JUN (NAMPA) - The Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) says over 600 Namibians are killed in road accidents across the country every year, while more than 5 000 are injured in accidents.
This means that on average, one person is killed on Namibia's national roads and a total of about 16 people suffer serious injury on average, daily.
Figures from the MVA Fund also reveal that between 01 January 2015 and 31 May 2015, a total of about 281 people were killed in 1 637 crashes and a total of 2 817 people were injured.
It is further reported that these crashes culminated in the MVA Fund spending N.dollars 22 600 000 monthly on medical expenses, injury grants, loss of support, loss of income and funeral claims; translating into N.dollars 113 million for the five months.
These figures are contained in a media statement on the effects of accidents that was released by the MVA's Chief of Corporate Affairs, Kapena Tjombonde on Tuesday.
Road crashes are an undeniably significant issue for Namibia
Each crash entails cost, not to mention the social cost of pain, grief and the suffering of the families of the victims, Tjombonde said.
The injuries suffered by people include limb loss, spinal cord injuries, head injuries and internal injuries, and these injuries vary depending of the factors such as speeding, whether or not the person was wearing a seatbelt or whether the motor vehicle involved in an accident hit a vehicle or other object.
Tjombonde said the injuries people suffer as a result of road crashes are often life changing, not only for the injured person, but also for their families and friends.
During the period under review (between 01 January 2015 and 31 May 2015), a total of 33 people were admitted at various local hospitals with severe injuries, of which 19 sustained traumatic brain injuries and 14 were left with spinal cord injuries.
A further 404 people were admitted with less serious injuries, which include fractures, lacerations, poly trauma and blunt injuries.
In addition, six people lost their limbs due to amputations.
In terms of injuries per age group, younger people between the ages of 16 and 35 tend to bear the biggest brunt of these crashes.
Many motor vehicle crashes and their resulting injuries or fatalities are preventable. The MVA Fund strongly feels we cannot simply wave a magic wand to make our national roads safer overnight, but there are measures that can help reduce the overall impact of road crashes, by using a co-ordinated approach involving a wide range of actors from all. As individuals, we should not wait for institutions tasked with road safety to do something, therefore, let us all take hands in this fight, Tjombonde said.
She then advised people to properly plan ahead before travelling; rest while on the road in order to help avoid driving tired; and to drive during the day instead of at night.