- Do not delay to replace your tyre, if it is worn out
- Reduce your speed during rain or wet weather
- Do not overload your vehicle
- Carry out regular checks on your vehicle alignment
- Check your tyre pressure at least twice in a month and more importantly before a long journey.
Category: road safety (Page 1 of 3)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that over 700 people die every year in road accidents caused by tyre failure. In addition, The National Transportation Safety Board reveals that more than 500 people die while about 19,000 people are injured every year in auto crashes related to tyre failure. However, as a motorist here are safety tips you need to know:
Driving is a very important task that all motorists must not take for granted. As a result of the poor safety consciousness of some drivers, several avoidable accidents occur. When safety is compromised, many road users are sent to their early grave while many other innocent road users are left with permanent injury. A vehicle can pose serious danger on the road if the driver of such a vehicle fails to be safety conscious while driving. However, here are 5 safety tips a driver is expected to keep while driving:
- Be sure that your wing and rear-view mirrors are properly positioned, for you to see what is behind you.
- Drive at a speed that is safe. Do not over-speed, it kills
- Be more tolerant of other road users.
- Be a good observer while making use of the road
- When you drive don’t sleep and when you feel like sleeping park your car and sleep, it is highly dangerous to drive while drowsy.
Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) reveals that 5,053 people lost their lives in road accidents in 2016 while in 2017, 5,049 people also lost their dear lives in road accidents. These figures show that in just 2 years, 10,102 road users in Nigeria, died in road accidents. In addition, National Bureau of Statistics and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) also reveal that not less than 20,000 vehicles in Nigeria are involve in road accident. it is sad to note that Nigeria is among the leading nations in Africa with high rate of road accident. My observation revealed that each time an accident occurs on Nigerian roads, fairly large number of people believe it is an act of God. Therefore, you see many of the motorists, most especially the commercial ones drive recklessly on the roads even when they are sharing the road with haulage trucks. It is even more obvious among commercial motorcycle operators who believe that no accident can occur except God allows it and that no matter how reckless they drive, it can never lead to an accident. This is an erroneous belief that can result to an untimely death. As an individual, a high rate of road accidents in Nigeria is neither acceptable to me nor do I think it is acceptable to any Nigerian but oftentimes, when you see an accident occur on Nigerian roads, it will not take you a long time before you hear people giving their final conclusion on the whole matter by saying “It is an act of God”. They easily accept any accident that happens on Nigerian roads as an act of God. What a wrong conception! So, one may wonder if God had pre-destined many Nigerians to die by road accidents on daily basis. In addition, one may even be tempted to ask why God would choose road accidents as a means to kill thousands of people in Nigeria. These, among others, are the likely questions that may readily come to mind when one ponders on the frequency of road accidents and the general belief or common conclusion of many people on road traffic accidents as “the act of God” Accidents by circumstance are not God’s errors At this point, it is essential that the writer is neither an Imam nor a pastor over a church. Therefore, I am not looking at this erroneous belief from a religious perspective rather I am looking at it from a professional point of view. In all honesty, most accidents are caused by human errors. The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe reveals that most road accidents in Zimbabwe happen as a result of human errors. According to the statistics given (in Zimbabwe), 93.4% of all accidents recorded during 2014/2015 festive periods were due to human errors. Source: Chronicle.co.zw Although, a man can be a victim of an accident by circumstances, this is a situation when a man who has no fault is involved in an accident caused by another man’s fault. Yet, this does not mean that the accident is an act of God, rather it is an avoidable occurrence caused by another man’s errors that makes an innocent man a victim by circumstance. A Case Study For instance, in 2015, an articulated vehicle carrying an unlatched container suddenly slipped off the truck and fell on a commercial bus at Illishan, Ogun State, Nigeria, killing all the12 passengers on board. However, 11 of the victims were said to be students of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) and the last person was the driver of the said bus. In addition, the truck driver took to his heels and the truck has no registered number plate, making it so difficult to trace the truck owner and the driver. This particular accident was caused by a human error traceable to four set of people or agencies namely:
- The truck owner
- The truck driver
- The traffic regulatory agencies e.g. The Police, The FRSC, The NSCDC, The VIO, and
- The Government.
- Some countries make it a law for every motorist.
- It will help to prevent your face from hitting the windshield, if your car is stopped suddenly.
- When accident occurs and the car is somersaulted, a seat belt will hold you firm on your seat and keep you from being thrown from the vehicle.
- It keeps you from hitting against some parts of the vehicle while driving e.g. the door, the car steering wheel and the seat in front of you.
- The seat belts keep all the occupants e.g. the driver and passengers from hitting into each other, which may cause a serious injury in some accidents.
- In case of accident, airbags may be useless or ineffective if you fail to wear your seat belt; you may still end up being thrown from the car or hit against its parts e.g. the door, the windshield etc., and passengers. In addition, if you are not wearing your belt your body may not be in the best position that benefits from the protection of an airbag.
- The use of a seat belt may save your life; this is because death may come as a result from hitting the windshield, being thrown from the vehicle and banging against vehicle parts and passengers.
- Use of seat still remains the number one vehicle safety device.
- The use of seat belt helps to protect a pregnant woman and her unborn child in a car. However, the pregnant women are advised to wear the lap belt low, in such a way that it pulls downward on the pelvic bones. In other words, they should not wear it against their abdomen.
- It does not hurt to use a seat belt.
A car accident scene involving a drunk driver. Road accident is a major contributing factor to the number of daily deaths in the world; virtually every day, people die in road accidents. The importance of road transport to humanity cannot be overemphasized yet the number of deaths resulting from road accidents is undoubtedly worrisome. Painful enough, most of these accidents are preventable; therefore, the need to be more sensitive to enforcing road safety policies must be ascertained without compromise by all the agencies concerned. The road safety agencies in different countries should embark on ‘Operation Reduce All Preventable Road Accidents’. I believe that if all these preventable accidents can be reduced by half it would go a long way in reducing the number of deaths resulting from road accidents. More so, to reduce road accidents, drivers’ behaviour while using the road must be modified. If we sincerely desire to reduce the road accidents on our public roads, the need to focus on the driver’s behaviour becomes inevitable. One of the reasons among others for increase in vehicle collision is the bad behaviour of some drivers or motorists. Therefore, one of the ways to minimize the number of vehicles colliding on public roads is to focus on drivers’ behaviour. We must ensure that they drive in a safe manner; in fact, safety must be their top concern and number one priority when using the road and they must ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained. However, below are the accidents recorded around the world for the year 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively. 2016 February 6 – Nepal – Pasang Lhamu bus crash. A passenger bus fell off the Keurini cliff, below the road, into a ravine. Eleven people were killed and twelve others were injured. February 18 – Ghana – Bus collision in February 2016, Ghana. Head-on collision between a bus and a truck, 53 killed and at least 23 injured. March 20 – Spain – Erasmus bus crash, Valencia. A Tata Hispano passenger bus carrying Erasmus students from several countries home from the Fallas Festival in Valencia collided with a car on the Autovía A-7 motorway, near the town of Freginals. Thirteen foreign female students were killed. May 8 – Afghanistan – May 2016 Afghanistan road crash, Moqor district, Ghazni province. Two buses collided with a fuel tanker, killing 73 and injuring 50 more. June 7 – United States – In the Kalamazoo bicycle crash, a pickup truck crashed into a group of cyclists killing five. July 19 – Taiwan – 2016 Taoyuan bus fire, Taoyuan. A tour bus caught fire, killing 24 Chinese tourists, a Taiwanese tour guide, and the driver. August 15 – Nepal – 2016 Nepal bus crashes, Birtadeurali, Kavrepalanchok District and Siddheshwar, Baitadi District. Two separate bus crashes in Nepal led to the death of 30 people, with 52 injured. September 3 – Afghanistan – September 2016 Afghanistan road crash, Zabul Province. A bus collided with a fuel tanker; 38 people were killed and 28 were injured. October 23 – United States – 2016 Interstate 10 tour bus crash, California. A tour bus collided with the back of a semi-trailer truck, killing 13 while 31 others were injured. November 21 – United States – 2016 Chattanooga school bus crash, Chattanooga, Tennessee. An elementary school bus carrying dozens of students crashed, killing 6 students and injuring 23 others. 2017 January 21 – Italy – 2017 Verona bus crash, Verona. A bus carrying school from Hungary crashed and caught fire on the A4 near Verona a few minutes after midnight. 17 people were killed and 25 others were injured. February 20 – Philippines – 2017 Tanay bus accident, Tanay, Rizal. A tourist bus carrying more than 50 passengers crashed on a curved road after the vehicle apparently lost control and hit an electric post in Barangay Sampaloc in Tanay, Rizal. 15 people were killed and 40 were injured. April 18 – Philippines – 2017 Nueva Ecija bus accident, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija. A minibus carrying 77 passengers lost its brakes and fell off a ravine in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija. It is recorded as one of the deadliest road accidents in recent Philippine history, leaving 31 dead and 46 injured. June 25 – Pakistan – 2017 Bahawalpur explosion, near Ahmedpur East, Bahawalpur – 219 people were killed and at least 34 injured when a tanker truck overturned and people rushed towards it to collect the leaking petrol. December 14 – France – Perpignan crash, Perpignan. A train crashed into a school bus on a level crossing between Millas and Saint-Féliu-d'Amont in the Arrondissement of Perpignan. Six pupils were killed and twenty-four others were injured. December 31 – Kenya – At least 36 people perished when a truck collided head-on with a bus near Migaa. 2018 January 2 – Peru – 2018 Pasamayo bus crash. A coach bus plunged off a cliff on a coastal road in Peru, killing 48 people. January 18 – Kazakhstan – 2018 Aktobe bus fire, Aktobe. A bus carrying Uzbek migrant workers caught fire in Kazakhstan's Aktobe region, killing fifty-two people. February 10 – Hong Kong – 2018 Hong Kong bus accident. A bus carrying spectators and workers from horse races overturned in the New Territories area. 18 people were killed and 65 were injured. April 6 – Canada – Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Sixteen people were killed and 13 others injured when a semi-trailer truck and a bus carrying a junior ice hockey team collided near Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada. April 22 – North Korea – 2018 North Korea bus accident. A bus in North Hwanghae Province, North Korea, transporting Chinese tourists fell off a bridge, killing 32 Chinese tourists and 4 North Koreans. May 25 – Uganda – 2018 Kiryandongo bus accident. A bus in Kiryandongo District collided with a tractor followed by a truck carrying beer, killing at least twenty-two people. October 6 – United States – A stretch limousine failed to stop at an intersection near Schoharie, New York, killing all 18 people in the vehicle and two pedestrians. October 10 – Kenya – At least 51 people died when a bus en route from Nairobi to Kisumu went off the road and plunged into a ravine. Source: Wikipedia Having gone through the above list of fatal road accidents around the world, one may be tempted to say that road transportation is a necessary evil. It is important to note that road transportation is not evil neither is it designed to cause evil; it is the human factor that is responsible for most road accidents. And since it is obvious that road transport is inevitable in our daily activities, in fact, it is paramount in virtually every aspect of the economic, social and political activities of a nation as it is a key instrument to promoting, developing, and shaping the national economy. Therefore, the need to reduce unwanted and preventable road accidents must be the equal task of all of us.
Picture credited to: Alberta Motor Association (AMA) Virtually everyone is a road user; everyone depends on road transport for one reason or the other. Indeed, it is an indispensable part of our daily activities which also has a high element of risk. This explains why safety consciousness is very important for all road users. Road safety advice refers to suggestions that can keep road users safe from danger while using the road. The tips are as follows: 1. Do not be too much in a hurry to a place, programme, or an event while using the road. Why? It is better to arrive late than to be a late man. 2. Never use the road as if it belongs to you alone. We are all road users, so put others into consideration while making use of the road. 3. Never drive recklessly on the road. If you do, it may be a short cut to your early grave. 4. Overspeeding may excite you but it kills in a split second. 5. The best way to save lives while driving is to obey traffic rules. 6. If you drink don’t drive, and if you drive don’t drink. But if you prove otherwise, you’re the most dangerous person and a big fool. Why a fool? You are not advised not to drink or drive, you are only advised not to drive when you drink because alcohol can impair your driving ability; consequently making the road unsafe for all road users. So it is only a fool that is aware of danger but still refuses to ‘keep out’. 7. You may leave home early but unforeseen circumstances may cause unnecessary delay on the road; yet, do not overspeed. It is better to lose minutes or hours than to lose lives. 8. Your driving license is not enough without your determination to drive safe always; this is a key to road safety. 9. Don’t forget to use your seat belt. Observation reveals that death occurs as a result of occupants hitting their head against the windshield or being thrown out of the vehicle or banging against vehicle parts. More so, the seat belt also helps to protect a pregnant woman and her unborn child in a car. Nevertheless, pregnant women are advised to wear the lap belt low, in such a way that it pulls downward on the pelvic bones. In other words, they should not wear it against their abdomen. In short, the seat belt still remains the number one vehicle safety device. 10. Nonetheless, it does not hurt to obey traffic rules or yield to road safety tips or advice. Finally, it is your civic duty as a motorist or road user to make the road safe for all.
Modern Event Data Recorder which is popularly known as Black Box is now installed in cars these days; new cars in the UK and the US now come with an installed black box. In a bid to reduce road accidents, car manufacturers now equip their new cars with a functional Black box. The device shows when, where and how a car is being driven at a particular time. It gives detailed information and also serves as a feedback to the driver and any other third party. It warns the driver by giving alerts if pre-set parameters are exceeded, e.g. when over speeding. It helps the new drivers, most especially the young drivers, to be more safety conscious while driving on the road, having realized that their driving behaviors can be monitored by a device installed in their vehicle; hence, they resist the temptation to over-speed or being influenced by their colleagues. The black box device can monitor drivers’ behaviors in the following ways: *The beginning and the end of a journey *Speed *Location *Acceleration *Braking *Cornering *the use of seat belt *Fuel used However, the following are the benefits of the black box installed in a car:
- It is inexpensive. Most cars, these days in the UK and the US, come with car black box.
- Once it is installed in a car, it will continue to monitor the driving behaviors of the driver which may be difficult to observe by any other means.
- It can show how a particular car is being used which may be difficult to obtain by any other means.
- In case of an accident, it gives more objective, accurate and detailed information a few minutes before the incident.
- It is the best tool for employers to monitor and assess their drivers.
- It is a vital tool for improving safety and reducing risk and crash rates.
- It is a way to help young and new drivers to improve their driving behaviors.
- It also helps insurance companies to reduce traffic accidents by promoting safe driving through black box insurance.
- Stolen vehicles can be recovered. This is so because some of the black boxes have in-built GPS, which means your car can be tracked if reported stolen. Some boxes have the capacity to stop the ignition.
- Since the black box can provide accurate and detailed information few minutes before an accident, this will fast-track a claims process from insurance companies, wherefore serving as a reward for a good driver.
- It can serve as a vital research tool for researchers to gather as many data as possible on real-life and natural driving behaviors of many drivers and to determine the effects on drivers’ behaviors.
- It can provide data that can help the road safety or highway authorities to easily identify problem locations on their road network.
- Speeding has been identified as one of the leading factors of road accidents. However, with the introduction of the black box technology that enables the insurance companies to come up with Pay-AS- You-Drive policy in the US which means a financial incentive will be given to a good driver, this insurance policy has effectively reduced speed among young drivers, thereby reducing the accident rates that are likely caused by over speeding.
- It helps both the new and young drivers to correct their mistakes.
- It gives alerts if pre-set parameters are exceeded e.g. when over-speeding.
- It cannot measure or help to keep a safe distance.
- It cannot prevent dangers; it can only record the data before thedangers occur.
- It cannot tell you who is driving, no matter how safe you are in driving. If somebody else with bad behavior in driving drives your car, this will affect your records because the device cannot tell us or identify who is driving the car at a particular time.
- It only highlights a problem without providing an answer. For instance, when the feedback indicates: “unsafe driving” it will not show you the area of your driving that is not safe
- The audible alert may distract the driver.
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 injured. 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.
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 goal. 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 implement them.
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.