The volume of traffic in an area is often considered in determining the road
designs in such an area. However, such factors usually include the following:
1. Number of lanes
2. Turnout spacing
3. Lane widths
4. Type of driving surface
5. Sight distances
6. Design speed
8. Horizontal and vertical alignments
9. Curve widening
10. Turn around
Author: peterowinje (Page 2 of 9)
Death and injury from road accidents, in some parts of the world, mostly
developing countries, are becoming a notable global problem that requires a
serious attention. For instance, in 1998, the World Bank gave an estimation of 1
million deaths from road accidents. In 2004, the World Health Day, the report
from the WHO and the World Bank showed that the number of deaths recorded
from road accidents was about 1.2 million people while 50 million people were
One may wonder why there is a high rate of road accidents in the developing
countries while in the developed countries the rate of accidents is reducing on
daily basis. In the developed countries, the traffic rules and regulations are
enforced on all motorists while in the developing countries, there is poor
implementation of the traffic rules and regulations coupled with diverse personal
issues that many people in the developing countries have to face. Such issues,
amongst others include, poverty, depression, physical illness, emotional and
financial stress. These are enormous possible factors that may force the road
users to misbehave when making use of the road. Hence, below are 10 possible
ways of reducing road accidents on our roads:
Possible ways of reducing road accidents
1. A political will and commitment by all established organizations concerned
to deal with road traffic accidents. All law enforcement agencies must
consciously work to enforce traffic the rules and regulations on all
motorists. It must be a commitment without favoritism.
2. A careful plan involving education, engineering and enforcement to reduce
the rate of accidents
3. Transport authorities must have the same goal to reduce the high rate of
accidents and the strong passion to bring it to reality.
4. A concrete plan with specific measures for implementation and
enforcement must be made.
5. There must be a strong co-ordination within and among different levels of
government and with private actors.
6. Careful and critical evaluation of measures and their effectiveness to
achieve the desired goal.
7. There must be a road safety policy to achieve this goal.
8. The widespread nature of corruption mostly in Africa, among the
government officials e g. the Police, Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO), etc.
must be checked.
9. Recognizing road the traffic accidents as the handiwork of man and not as a
question of fate.
10. Understanding all accidents as a result of human errors are preventable, if
there is positive change in our attitude toward road safety.
Oftentimes, one may wonder why some motorists, especially the commercial
ones, choose to ply a particular route to carry out their daily activities, as if there
are no other routes for them to use. There are reasons why motorists will choose
and not to choose a particular route for the same journey. Hence, the saying
“there is no smoke without fire.” Also, most of their reasons are for their better
advantage. Following are the reasons why drivers choose a particular route for
1. Speed: This is the rate at which a vehicle travels. Most drivers like to drive
their vehicle at a particular speed convenient and safer for them.
2. Travel time: The time at which a driver, mostly a commercial driver, uses to
complete a particular journey matters a lot. The route that is full of
different obstructions that may cause unnecessary delay, thereby
increasing the driver’s travel time will not encourage many motorists to ply
such a route.
3. Traffic interruption: Anything that interrupts will discourage the motorists
to continue to ply such a route if there is a better alternative.
4. Freedom to maneuver: Drivers will prefer a wide route that will enable
them to move their cars easily and carefully probably to overtake or to
avoid accidents. Therefore, a road that is very tiny or narrow to maneuver
will discourage them.
5. Safety: A road must be free enough from any form of danger, otherwise
both the drivers and the passengers would be discouraged to travel on such
6. Driver’s comfort: When a driver travels on a long journey and throughout
the journey he feels less worry and more importantly, he feels safe
travelling on such a road, undeniably he will be eager to travel again on the
7. Convenience: When you drive on a good road, the time and the stress you
would have encountered if you are on a bad road would be reduced.
8. Operating cost: Every transport service provider is expected to have
practical and economical mindset to manage his business. He must be able
to choose the routes that are cost-effective for his business.
9. Business orientation: No commercial vehicle driver will hesitate to travel
on a route where he can easily get goods and passengers to carry. Since his
business is to carry goods and passengers for economic gain, then it will be
unwise of him to abandon a route where his desire can be met.
10. Inevitable route: Every motorist going to their offices and houses will have
no choice but to pass through the road that leads to their houses and
1. RMS TITANIC
RMS Titanic is one of the popular shipwrecks in the world history. It was an
ocean liner said to be unsinkable but later proved to be most notable sinkable
ship in the world. In 1912, precisely on April 10, the ship was on a journey. 4
days as the journey progressed, precisely on April 14, 1912, the ship suddenly
hit an iceberg just before the midnight and the ship sank less than 3 hours,
killing 1,514 lives.
However, in 1985, a Franco-American expedition discovered the ship and
found that the ship split into 2 parts, each part lying about a 3 rd of a mile from
2. RMS REPUBLIC
RMS Republic was built 1903 and sank on January 24, 1909 at about
8:40p.m. 6 lives were said to be lost in that incident. The bad incident
occurred in 1909, on January 23 rd , when the ship collided with the Lloyd
Italiano liner SS Florida and the ship sank at about 8:40 p.m. on the said
3. RMS LUSITANIA
RMS Lusitania started operation in 1906 and it sank on May 7 th , 1915. 1,
191 lives were said to be lost in that incident. It was said that the shipwreck
was caused by a German U-boat.
4. USS ARIZONA
USS Arizona was specially built for the US Navy in1915. It was bombed by
the Japanese on December 7 th , 1941. It was said that 1, 177 crew members
and officers were killed in the incident.
On the 5 th of May, the shipwreck became National Historic Landmark in the
US and the remains, known as USS Arizona Memorial, are viewable in the
5. THE MARY ROSE
It was a Tudor warship used during the reign of Henry VIII and it was
used in many battles against France, Britain and Scotland and it was
sunk during a battle against French.
It was a Swedish warship, believed to have been built between 1626
and 1628. It sank on the 10 th of August, 1628, after being hit by
strong winds and flooding, sinking 20 minutes and less than a mile
into its journey.
7. THE ANNE’S REVENGE
It was an 18 th century warship popularly known as the ship of the
legendary pirate Blackbeard. It used the ship less than a year with
greatest achievement during this short period of time.
8. MV DONA PAZ
MV Dona Paz is referred to as the deadliest of all peacetime maritime
disasters. In December 20 th , 1987, the Philippine registered ferry with
over 4,000 passengers collided with an oil tanker MT Vector resulting
into fire accident killing an estimated number of 4, 386 passengers
and there were only 24 survivors.
It took 8 hours for Philippine maritime authorities to hear of the
incident due to poor communication equipment. However, because
of the fatal incident, it is referred to as ‘Asia’s Titanic’
9. THE BLACK SWAN
It is a Spanish war ship known as Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes.
The warship sank in 1804 off Portugal territorial waters. However, in
2007 an American Company, Odyssey Marine Exploitation,
discovered gold, worth of $500 million.
However, the Spanish government made it known to be the rightful
owner of the said gold, hence the case was decided in the US
Supreme Court, and the court ordered the gold should be returned
to Spanish authorities.
10. MS WORLD DISCOVERER
It was a Danish cruise ship manufactured in 1974. The disaster
occurred when the ship struck a rock at the Solomon Islands; all the
passengers survived the incident.
What is Safety?
Safety, as it were, means freedom from danger; it is a state of being safe. Hence,
to ensure there is safety, different things or objects may be used as parts of safety
measures such as human, sign, symbol, education, advertisement, weapon to
mention but a few.
What is Road Safety?
Road safety involves all activities engaged to make all the road users free from
danger. It can also be defined as those measures and methods put in place to
protect all road users from being injured or killed while making use of the road.
However, the road safety of every road user must be the utmost importance of all
the levels of government; hence, the need to implement the road safety policy
that will protect the life of all road users is inevitable. It is the responsibility of all
concerned, in different countries, to enforce the road safety rules and regulations.
In addition, improving road safety in any given environment will surely involve the
following sectors: transportation, health care, emergency service, law
enforcement and education. This 5 agents must be active and ready at all time to
rise up to the task.
It is also good for transport authorities to set a target. Road safety target should
be understandable, cost-effective, monitored, realistic and achievable.
What is Policy?
It is the set of principles and guidelines adopted to achieve the organizational
What is a road safety policy?
It is a set of principles and guidelines formulated to improve the safety of all road
users. It is the statement of various steps to be taken-over to achieve the
envisaged targets set in this field of transport to tackle identified safety issues or
problems. In simple language, it is the wisdom and method of action to guide and
determine both the present and the future affairs of safety in road transportation.
A good road safety policy is meant to look into the different risks associated with
road transport and provide solutions to eliminate all the risks. It is the one that
ensures risks of injuries and deaths are low and manageable.
However, it should be noted that proper planning is important to achieve the
road safety goals. Hence, the road safety plan must contain a vision statement,
policy guidelines, strategies and specific actions to be taken.
High rate of deaths and injuries on public roads are not a fundamental law of
nature as many people assume. Many people believe it is fate for someone to be
injured or die in a road accident. I humbly and firmly wish to let you know that
most accidents on our roads are caused by human errors and that most accidents
we see are avoidable accidents.
All that is needed to eliminate risks or to reduce high rate of deaths and injuries
on our roads is the road safety policy and strong commitment by concerned
institutions to implement the policy. However, examples of countries that have
been successful in improving their road safety are: Sweden, New Zealand,
Netherland and Japan, amongst others. They are able to achieve this feat as a
result of their strong road safety policies as well as strong commitment to
Sitting on the driver’s seat for the first time to drive the vehicle alone may excite a new driver but it’s not an easy task for him. Such a new driver is likely to be nervous and fearful while driving.Also, such a driver is likely to be over conscious not to hit any object or being hit by other drivers. These, among others, are the predictable misbehavior of new drivers.However, below are the common mistakes of a typical new driver on the road:
- Inferiority Complex: Often times, they drive under pressure. Why? It is because they think other experienced drivers on the road are better than they are.Hence, consciously or unconsciously, they become anxious to the point of making several mistakes while driving.
- Panic or fear:At times, they feel they are very conscious while driving but in the real sense, they are panicky.As a result, often times, you see them stopping suddenly on the road causing unnecessary traffic delays.
- Poor understanding of the Traffic rules and Regulations: One of the qualities of a good professional driver is the ability to interpret and understand the traffic rules and regulations. In fact, they are one of the ways to drive safe on the road.The difference between a driver and a man who moves the vehicle on the public road is proper understanding of the traffic rules and regulations.
- Poor Routine Checks: Failure to carry out daily routine checks such as engine oil, brake oil, battery terminal, light operations to mention but a few, before driving behind the wheel is part of typical new drivers’ mistakes.
- Lack of Basic safety information: This is common to those that did not attend a driving school before starting to move the vehicle on the road.They lack safety information to make the road safe such as why they need to equip their vehicle with a functional horn; when and how to join the road; when to brake and accelerate and so on.
- Poor Reverse: New drivers often find it difficult, if not impossible, to reverse the vehicle easily without being assisted, otherwise they hit their vehicles on any object behind them.
- Failure to keep proper distance from the vehicle in front while driving
- Sometimes new drivers forget to use the traffic indicator lights when turning or moving out of the lane.
- Failure to use inner mirror when necessary.
- In a bid to avoid the danger of being involved in an accident, some new drivers tend to drive too slowly for the road condition, which thereby affects the easy flow of traffic.
A passenger car is made to carry passengers who travel regularly from one place to another. The passenger train cars have been improved in terms of convenience, comfort and speed.Due to these qualities, people enjoy traveling a long distance with passenger train cars and this means of transport is also more desirable in heavily populated areas.
Moreover, the articulate passenger cars are gaining more popularity in Europe and in the US. This is because major cities in Western Europe are connected by high-speed rail services and such cities include London, Paris, Brussels,
Amsterdam, Geneva, Berlin, Rome, among others. In articulated passenger train cars, joint cars are attached to a truck for normal operations; this also creates more room for more passengers to be carried in a single journey.
However, as many people around the world are patronizing rail transport daily for short and long mobility, for example, Indian Railways carries 22.21 million passengers daily, similarly there is an increase in rail accidents. However, there are 3 factors that can make rail accidents extremely dangerous; they are:
- The weight
- The speed &
- The length
The weight of a train
A passenger train is much lighter than freight or cargo train.In other words, the weight of a commuter or passenger train is less than the weight of a cargo train. When passengers in a commuter train are involved in a crash or collision with a cargo train, injuries resulting from the accident are reflected on the passengers and this force is affected by the physical weight of a cargo train. Therefore, if there is a train crash or collision between a commuter and freight train, probably due to poor communication, the cargo train has a lot more mass and momentum to win the fight. In other words, the cargo train has the capacity to cause more harm to passenger train if an accident or a collision occurs.
In a collision that involves 2 trains e.g. a cargo train and a commuter train, which differ in weight, the lighter train will be at a disadvantage. The heavier trains i.e. (cargo train) will have more force due to the weight to push the lighter one which is the passenger train backward during the impact, which often results to derailment of the passenger train.
The speed of a train
Speed has been identified as one of the potential factors for rail accidents; many people have lost their lives in rail accidents due to high speed of train drivers. Often times when over speed is the direct factor of a rail accident, the result is always horrifying.
The Length of a Train
The length of the train is another important factor we need to consider that can cause rail accidents but unfortunately, most people, including accident investigators, pay little or no attention to this undeniable factor. The longer the train, the higher the chances of involving in an accident than a shorter train. Often times, when rail accidents occur, the investigators have to examine the potential factors that may cause the wreck and the factors they usually look at are: the speed as at the time of the incident, track conditions, throttle and brake settings among others.They may even go a bit further to interview the engineer, the passengers, and so on, in order to determine the cause of the accident but it is interesting to note that most of these accident investigators hardly consider the effects of the train length on train accident rate.
They take the length of a train for granted. They do not know that the longer the length of a train, the greater the potential factors for an accident to occur in rail transport. They do not know that the longer the length of a train, the higher the risk the of a train involving in an accident.
The train length is considered to have an effect on rail accident rate; this is because the mo t the more cars in a train increase, the higher the probability that a car or track elements in or below a train may fail at any point in time during operation. With this knowledge, the causes of accident in this regard can be divided into 2 types which are: firstly, the accident that can result from the number of train-miles covered and secondly, the one that can occur due to the cars-miles covered. (CCP 1995, Arthur D, Little (ADL) 1996). However, the length of a train in this article means the total number of the cars in a train. It is not the linear measurement of the actual length of a train. It is the total number of cars that is attached to a single truck to move with.
A Worrisome Factor
A passenger train is specially made to carry people in their large number. The longer the train, the higher the number of passengers it will carry. Most rail accidents are avoidable accidents because they are caused by human errors; yet it is humans that suffer most in the accidents for many people suffer permanent injuries while others even lose their lives. This is worrisome. For instance, when there is a collision between two passenger trains, the object that suffers most is the occupants (the passengers), hence, the saying when two elephants fight, the grass will suffer.
India’s worst rail disaster
plunges into the Baghmati river. Hundreds more are never found, with an estimated death toll ranging from 500 to 800
The most painful thing is that most innocent people suffer when accidents happen.It is important to note that it is not only passengers that suffer when a rail accident happens, even the pedestrians, bystanders, motorists etc. also suffer in rail accidents. However, for better understanding on the most worrisome factors in rail accidents, below are the examples of rail accidents:
‘At least 23 people died and dozens were injured when 2 passenger trains collided head-on in southern Italy on Tuesday,’ source: New Europe al jazeera.
A total of 27, 581 Indians died in 2014 in railway related accidents…. By the National Crime Records Bureau.
On 26 Nov., 1998, in khanna, at least 212 killed as a train collided with a derailed train.
On Sept., 2002, in Rajdhani, the Rajdhani Express derailed on bridge, killng at least 130 people.
On May 28, 2010, in West Midnapore, West Bengal, : The Calcutta-Mumbai passenger train derailed, killing at least 100.
On August 2, 1999, at least 290 killed as two trains carrying a total of 2,500 people collided.
Nevertheless, ‘The worst accident was the November 20, 2016 derailment of the Indore-Patna Express near Kanpur which resulted in 150 deaths and over 150 injuries.’ Source: hindustantimes
Nevertheless, you will notice from the given examples of rail accidents that the most common fact is the death of people in the accidents. Many important personalities in their communities were sent to their early graves for choosing the rail transport for their journey. Painful enough, most of these are caused by human errors and in a simple language, humans make errors that send other humans to their early graves. This is the most worrisome truth in this article.
All over the world where rail transportation exists, the high demand for it cannot
be denied. People like to travel by rail for both long and short distances within
and outside the country. Rail transport is becoming more attractive and popular,
mostly in Europe, North America and other parts of the world. Rail transport has
been an effective means of transporting people and goods in their large number
for over 10 decades.
In some countries such as India, North America, U.S., Canada, Japan, China to
mention but few, it will not take you a longer time before you see trains in their
large numbers in operation moving large number of people and goods along
thousands of miles in both urban and rural areas. One may wonder why many
people like to travel by rail.
In fact, in India, it will surprise you to see how many people patronize rail
transport. It is a common sight in India to see many people in their large number
hanging on the outside of the rail cars while hundreds of others sitting on top of
rail cars, though this is not a good safety attitude in India yet. The question
remains, why people like to travel by rail? Why do organizations these days also
choose rail transport as a means of transporting their products? However, below
are the notable reasons why people like to travel by rail:
1. It is economical: When you consider the long distance to be covered
and the amount of goods to be carried, you will discover that rail
transport is the right choice for you to use because it is cost-effective.
Bulk freight rail transport has the capacity to pull the weight of over
10,000 tons of goods at a cheaper rate. As many organizations also look
for ways to cut down transportation costs, hence, they use rail transport
as a means to achieve this aim. Even governments in different countries
also encourage their business owners to use rail transport for their
Some organizations that are into liquid and gas business also prefer to use
rail transport because there are rail cars specially built to carry such
People also like to travel by rail because it is much cheaper than to travel by
2. It accommodates more baggage: Rail transport allows passengers to
carry more bags without stress. People come with their baggage without
unnecessary limitations and if you are to pay for much luggage you
carry, you pay still at a cheaper rate too. So, many people like to travel
with their belongings by rail than by air.
3. It is less stressful: The stress a passenger needs to pass through before
boarding a flight is enormous. This is not so in rail transport, you don’t
need to have a stressful day before you can travel by rail.
4. Passengers enjoy fixed price: People also like to use rail transport
because of its relatively stable fares. They already know the amount
they are going to pay for their journey anytime, any day.
5. It is much more environmentally-friendly: the carbon emission from rail
transport is not as dangerous as the one coming out of an aircraft. This
is also one of the reasons why the government will also encourage
different organizations to use the rail transport for long-distance
journeys for their products than to use trucks or trailers.
6. It reduces travel time: High speed train can reduce your travel time by
half. In rail, you enjoy travel without unnecessary delay or traffic hold
7. Comfort and convenience: Trains these days are equipped with
comfortable seats that can make you feel relaxed without disturbing
anybody. You can move around during the journey to reduce the stress
of sitting down in a particular seat for hours. This is not possible in road
and air transport.
8. Free from traffic: People also like to travel by rail in order to avoid
unnecessary delay on the journey.
9. Travelling by rail, you will enjoy knowing more cities.
10. People like to travel by rail because it is safer than road transport and
the second safest mode of transport.
NOTE: each crash contains the date; the country where the accident occurred; the kind of accident e.g. (crash) and the number of people killed or injured in the accident.
- July2nd in the US (derailment) people got injured but the exact figure was not given.
- July 21st in the US (derailment), 9 people injured.
- July 26th in Cameroon (derailment), 1 person killed.
- July 28th in Spain (crash), 48 people injured.
- August 11th in Egypt (collision), 40 people killed and133 injured.
- August 14th in UK (derailment), no one injured.
- August 15th in UK (crash), no one killed or injured.
- August 15thin UK (derailment), 2 people injured.
- August 19th in India (derailment), 23 people killed and 60 injured.
- August 20th in UK (derailment), no one injured or killed.
- August 22nd in the US (crash), 37 people injured.
- August 23rd in India (derailment), no one died or injured.
- September 11th in Switzerland (derailment), 30 people injured.
Total no of people injured: 319. Total no of people died no: 64
Transport system, as it were, is playing a key role in globally. Without transport,
moving people and goods from one place to another for economic, social and
other reasons will be difficult if not impossible. However, the transport system
that plays a very important role in over-land transport in moving people and
goods in large number is rail transport. In addition, in recent times, the rate of
crashes in rail transport is becoming worrisome and this explains the need for this
article. To this end, below is the list of rail accidents during the second quarter of
NOTE: each crash contains the date; the country where the accident occurred; the
kind of accident e.g. (crash) and the number of people killed or injured in the
1. April 8th in Russia (collision), 50 people injured.
2. April 15th in Austria (collision), 9 people injured.
3. April 28 th in Netherlands (collision), no record of people died or injured.
4. May 1 st in Germany (derailment), 2 people injured.
5. May 13th in Greece (derailment), 3 people died and 15 injured.
6. June 27th in US (derailment and fire), 39 people injured.
Total no people injured: 115. Total people killed: 3