‘I’m always thinking of when a car will crash into me’: Trauma of working in a high accident zone

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'I'm always thinking of when a car will crash into me': Trauma of working in a high accident zone
'I'm always thinking of when a car will crash into me': Trauma of working in a high accident zone

Africa-Press – South-Africa. Residents and business owners along Rose Road in De Deur, Gauteng, fear becoming victims of car crashes due to the high number of accidents on the road.

During a recent incident, 17 people were injured after two police vehicles collided on Rose Road.

Witnesses said an unmarked state minibus transporting a group of police officers crashed into a marked police van.

Police spokesperson Mavela Masondo confirmed the accident.

“Police have opened a reckless and negligent driving case for further investigation after two state vehicles – a minibus and a bakkie – collided with each other.

“The 17 occupants of both vehicles were taken to a local hospital for medical attention,” Masondo said.

A witness who spoke on condition of anonymity, told News24 the police officer who was driving the minibus seemed to have sustained serious injuries.

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Another witness who works at a nearby shop, said the minibus driver had ignored the indicator of the other vehicle.

He claims the minibus was travelling at a high speed.

“I had just decided to fetch a few of my working tools, and when I came back, I noticed the minibus speeding.”

According to the witness, the driver of the minibus tried to avoid a car in front of him. However, the minibus ended up crashing into the police van.

Once the minibus stopped, its occupants – all wearing police uniforms – started filing out, the eyewitness added.

“Most seemed to have sustained injuries as some of them were struggling to walk, and one of them was bleeding,” the witness said.

‘My brain is messed up’

A businessman, who sells braaied meat at a nearby business premises, said he feared falling victim to a road crash.

He said he was suffering mentally due to the number of accidents he had witnessed.

After the latest accident, he said he immediately ran when he saw a cloud of dust moving in his direction. He said he no longer felt safe at work.

“This thing happens countless times. I’m always thinking about when a car will crash into me while I am busy doing my work. My brain is messed up.

“I am the breadwinner at home, and I have to go back home with these death thoughts every day.”

He added: “Every time I braai meat, I keep one eye on the road because I never know when [a vehicle will hit me].”

Some people blame the many accidents on the lack of speed humps and traffic lights in the area.

“We need a series of robots to be installed as people are driving recklessly. Speed humps will also help, and some of us will feel safe when working,” the eyewitness said.

Arrive Alive’s advocate Johan Jonck told News24 more defensive driving was needed on every road to avoid accidents.

“We sadly find too many incidents of reckless and irresponsible driving behaviour on our roads, and we need to adjust our driving behaviour to allow more time and space to respond to emergency situations,” Jonck said.

Arrive Alive has advised people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to road accidents to visit the Arrive Alive website for advice on how to manage their trauma.

A businessman operating at one of the business premises along the road said he started taking narcotics to help him cope with the stress of having witnessed so many road crashes.

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