14 December 2017: According to the festive season road crash and fatality figures released by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters at the start of 2017, over 5900 drivers were arrested for drunk driving during the 2016/17 holiday period. A total of 1 714 fatalities were recorded during this same period, which is a 5% increase on the previous year.
Wynand Snyman, Chief Financial Officer of Europ Assistance South Africa says that these alarming statistics highlight the important role that Driver Assistance Services can play in saving lives, especially over the festive period.
“The festive season comes with an increasing amount of social events which often involves the intake of alcohol, significantly increasing the likelihood of accidents occurring. Driver Assistance Services provide motorists with the opportunity to be driven home in their own vehicle by a pre-approved driver.”
Snyman encourages South African road users to practice responsible behavior by making use of Driver Assistance Services over the festive season. “Making sure that you have this service included in your insurance policy can significantly reduce your risk of being involved in an accident due to driving under the influence of alcohol. It is also important to understand that insurers will reject insurance claims arising from drunk driving.”
Snyman adds that policyholders who have been using Driver Assistance Services throughout the year, should find out exactly how many trips they still have available for the year, in order to plan ahead for the holidays. “If you do not have this service available as part of your insurance or banking packages, make sure you know how to get access to Driver Assistance Services.”
“It is positive to note that stricter measures are in place to increase awareness around the risks associated with drunk driving. However, we still have a long way to go to eliminate drinking and driving on our roads,” he concludes.