Road accidents claiming more young lives – MVA Fund

Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund chief executive Rosalia Martins-Hausiku says the number of road crashes involving young people between the ages of 18 and 35 remain of concern in Namibia.

Hausiku announced this on Friday during a media engagement.

She said the figure involving young people in road accidents last year was high.

Martins-Hausiku said Namibia continues to lose young, productive people in the prime of their lives to road crashes.
This impacts the nation’s economy, she said.

Crash statistics collected by the MVA Fund indicate that for 2023 the regions with the highest number of crashes were the Khomas, Erongo, Oshana, Otjozondjupa and Oshikoto regions.

A comparison between 2022 and 2023 indicates that the Kavango West region experienced a concerning 50% surge in crashes, followed by the Kunene region, with close to 42% .

On a positive note, the Ohangwena region witnessed a 27% decline in crashes involving young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years during the same period.

“In terms of injuries, the same five regions that account for the highest number of crashes also accounted for the highest number of injuries.

“For the same age group (18-35) between 2022 and 2023 Omaheke recorded the highest increase in injuries at 34%, followed by Omusati with a 33% increase, whilst Kavango East saw a decline of 20% in injuries. Overall injuries increased by 1% from 2022 to 2023,” Martins-Hausiku said.

She said a comparison between 2022 and 2023 shows that the Oshikoto region observed an increase of 38%, while the Kavango East region saw a 56% decline in fatalities.

“On the positive side, there was a decline of 22% in fatalities from 2022 to 2023.

“Generally, males account for the highest number of those involved in crashes, injuries and fatalities.

“During the period under review for the ages 18 to 35, it was noted that females experienced a 36% rate, while males, even though still being the highest contributory group, experienced a decline in fatalities of 19%,” she said.

“Road traffic crashes among the youth not only result in the loss of lives, but also impose a heavy economic burden on the nation.

“Each crash entails costs, not to mention the social cost of the pain of those left behind and those left to care for the seriously injured.

“The grief and suffering of families also have a huge impact on the nation,” Martins-Hausiku said.

She said the fund spends on average N$200 million on medical expenses on an annual basis.

Year to date, the fund has spent N$168 million on medical expenses and N$72 million on funeral, loss of income and loss of support claims.

Martins-Hausiku says the fund has observed that crashes peak over weekends, with Wednesdays also showing a notable peak.

“Private vehicles accounted for at least 70% of vehicles reported in 2023, whereas public vehicles accounted for only 10% of vehicles reported, and the remaining 20% of vehicles reported are for official use,” she said.

Martins-Hausiku said 4 065 vehicles were involved in crashes in Namibia during the period under review – a 3% reduction from 2022.

Sedans accounted for 45% of all vehicles involved in crashes, with pickups accounting for 31%.

Martins-Hausiku said collaboration between relevant stakeholders has improved, greatly affecting the positive results observed, however, more needs to be done to reduce the number of road crashes, “because one life lost is one life too many”.

“We really need to make road safety a personal priority to ensure we save the lives of our young people and all road users,” she said.

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