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Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) is a menace that is more deadly than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and diarrhoea. Sometimes news about RTAs are received like football and basketball scores by some. 23 people died, 69 commuters fatally wounded.

The truth is that RTAs have a negative socio-economic impact in the society because the victims are breadwinners, potential breadwinners and loved ones. The psychological impacts of these deaths cannot be quantified.

Many events have shown that the human factor is the major contributor to RTAs and Road Traffic Injuries (RTIs) ranging from over speeding, drinking & driving, seat belts, ignorance of road traffic signs and flagrant disobedience of road safety rules.

In major cities in Nigeria like Lagos where there are many motorists using the road at the same time, it is paramount and pertinent that road users should take heed to some simple road safety tips that will help to reduce the rate of RTAs and RTIs on our roads.


#1 Put your mobile phones away

In this age of WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other digital apps that help us to connect with the internet world, many of us have become addicted to our mobile phones. The use of smartphones and other handheld devices increases the likelihood of being involved in a crash by a factor of 4, and texting while driving increases crash risk by around 23 times

Some pedestrians have lost their lives because they were hooked on to the activities on their mobile phones and utterly forgot that RTIs were imminent. In 2018 WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, pedestrians and cyclists represent 26% road traffic deaths. Remember when you’re driving, and there is an urgent call to answer, look for a convenient space to park your car and answer the call.


#2 Stick to the speed limit

Driving fast and furiously on a road filled with people is an invitation to anarchy. There are acceptable speed limits for every road and highways. Many motorists have lost their precious lives to over speeding. There is neither reward nor national honour for over speeding, there is also no induction to a hall of fame for overtakers of vehicles.

In the presence of potholes, bumps, rough terrain and unexpected crossing by animals and humans, you may not be able to take control effectively because you’re on high speed.


#3 Sleep then drive

The No 1 cause of death among children and adults between the ages of 5 -29 years is death from road traffic accidents, yes death from road traffic accidents. Time for driving is not the time for sleeping, it doesn’t matter if you have an international certificate in driving, sleeping or being drowsy while driving is dangerous.

In case you always have an urgent business to attend, hire a driver or beg a friend to drive you to your destination. Driving is a dangerous place to answer the call of nature.


#4 Never drive under the influence

According to WHO, 5% and 35% of road deaths are reported as alcohol-related. Little to excess amount of alcohol can undermine your state of mind, and compromise your ability to drive effectively. In addition to alcohol, driving under anger and depression can equally cause RTAs and RTIs because the driver’s mind can be wandering aimlessly, constantly in a state of flux.

Some motorists have lost control of their vehicles because they weren’t focused on the road they were plying.


#5 Wear your seat belts

The importance of seat belts can never be over exaggerated especially for passengers in front seats. Seat belts can reduce the risk of fatal injuries to front-seat passengers by 45% and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50%. In the case of unexpected application of brake by the driver, the seat belt is the only thing holding the front seat passengers from smashing the windscreen with their heads. 

Front seat passengers alone are not limited to effects of non-usage of the seat belt, passengers in a bus and other long vehicles should use the seat belts in case of high impact. Nobody prays for a vehicle somersault, but seat belts have prevented many from fatal injuries and deaths. In addition to these, overloading of vehicles with goods and passengers is not good and healthy for the passengers and cars respectively.


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Ozioma Osigwe

Author Ozioma Osigwe

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