Road accidents in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Why? It is because road accidents constitute a menace in our modern days. Decaying infrastructure, over speeding, reckless driving, among others, are deficiencies that all road users including the government must seek to address so as to reduce the high rate of accidents on our roads. It is a pity and quite painful that out of 193 countries in the world Nigeria is rated 2nd highest in terms of the frequency of road accidents.
Although, road accidents happen in both developed and developing countries but it is more in developing countries, most especially in Nigeria. For instance, in April 2016 not less than 142 people died in motor accidents in just 15 days. Source; Vanguard Newspaper.
More so, according to Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Public Education Officer in 2013, between 19th of December, 2012 and 15th of January, 2013, Nigeria had over 480 traffic crashes and about 1600 people were injured and not less than 280 people died from these crashes.
Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that the high rate of road accidents in Nigeria is not acceptable because it’s fast depleting human resources. To further justify this assertion, below are the 10 notable road accidents in 2016:
- On March 6, 2016, the Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Barrister James Ocholi, his wife and son died in a road accident.
- On 8th March, 2016, a senior rank officer, who was Chief of Training and Operation in the Nigeria Army, Major General Yushau Muhmood Abubakar died in a road accident.
- Another senior rank officer, the Acting General Officer Commanding 3rd Division in the Nigeria Army, Brigadier General MSA Aliyu was also involved in a road accident on March 8th, 2016.
- On March 7th, 2016, The Deputy Governor of Yobe State, Abubakar Ali was involved in an auto accident.
- During the Easter break in 2016, Nigeria recorded 98 crashes and 77 deaths. Source; FRSC Boss.
- On March 6th, 2016, 18 other people were burnt to death in a fatal motor accident at Buzaye Village in Bauch State.
- On 21st of January, 2016, 18 people were killed in a fatal road accident that occurred in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.
- On February 8th, 2016, not less than 30 people died in a road accident; the ugly incident occurred when a trailer carrying over 50 people from Kaduna State tumbled on Lagos – lbadan, Expressway.
- On February 10th, 2016, on the same Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, 10 people died in a road accident at Ajebo area. This happened when an 18- seater bus collided with a truck at the said area.
- On April 24th, 2016, six senior serving doctors from Ekiti State died in a fatal motor accident on their way to Sokoto State to attend the 56th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA). However, the other passengers who survived the accident were seriously injured.
Nonetheless, in Nigeria today hardly will you see a day that is free from road accidents. In other words, a day hardly goes by without the occurrence of a road accident in Nigeria. Some of these road accidents that get to media stations are announced publicly but the majority of them goes unreported. In view of the foregoing, the majority of the said road accidents that happen on our roads are not part of statistics given because they are not reported to the appropriate authorities. You can then imagine the high rate of accidents in the country beyond the given statistics.
In addition, one of the findings of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), an agency responsible for road safety administration in Nigeria, shows that road accidents is higher on good roads when you compare it to the rate of road accidents on bad roads.
In view of this, it can be rightly said that the deplorable conditions of some of the Nigeria roads are not responsible for the alarming rate of road accidents in Nigeria. However, to a very large extent, the high rate of road accidents in Nigeria is due to the carelessness and negligence of the road users.
In conclusion, my candid advice is that all road users such as pedestrians, motorists and cyclists must not throw caution into the air whenever they are making use of the roads. Road safety should be our collective responsibility in order to reduce the high rate of accidents on our public roads.
Peter Owinje is a transport and logistics expert. He is the founder of Global Transport and Logistics, an international transports blog.