• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Life has no substitute, adhere to traffic rules

71.7% of vehicles in Nigeria have no insurance

Nigerians should remember that there is no substitute for life so individuals should take responsibility to prevent unnecessary road crashes or death during this festive period.

In the aura of the festival, where there is always an increase in the number of people traveling to different places as the majority are on holidays, there is high demand for transport services across the country.

Nigerians on getting to various car parks face a lot of challenges. These include high transportation fares due to increased demand for transport service, scarcity of commercial buses occasioned by the influx of people at the parks willing to travel to their home towns or for excursions.

Under the prevailing circumstances, drivers who know that their vehicles are not in good condition due to a lack of proper maintenance still drive above the approved speed limit of 50km/h on urban roads, 80 km/h on rural roads, and 100 km/h on motorways. Most drivers also do more than their usual trips per day, and some, as a result of exhaustion, drink alcohol which they believe will strengthen them during the journey. The blood alcohol content limit is 0.5g/l for general drivers, 0.2g/l for the novice, and 0.0g/l for professionals.

The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) reported that 5,121 Nigerians died in 2017 due to road traffic crashes. This is about a 1.3 percent increase compared to the 2016 figure. The report shows that 5,181 died in 2018, but according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), road traffic accidents accounted for 40,061 deaths in 2018. This indicates that figures may likely be under-reported in Nigeria.

The World Health Rankings ranked Nigeria as 41 in 2018. In 2019, the examination of FRSC statistics shows a further rise in the number of road traffic deaths in Nigeria as 5,483 people died from road traffic accidents while 35,981 people got injured.

Read also: NEMA, FRSC sensitize road users on traffic rules ahead of Christmas

The composition is 92 percent adults and 8 percent children that died in 2019, and speed violation was the primary cause of the road crashes.

The road traffic death decreased significantly in early 2020 due to the restriction of movement imposed by the government to control the spread of COVID-19. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported on road traffic accidents that occurred in the second quarter of 2020 to be 2,080 crashes which caused 855 death of Nigerians while 5,535 were injured. About 92 percent of those that died are adults, while the remaining 8 percent are children. The primary cause of the accident was speed violation which accounted for 47 percent of the crashes. In the third quarter of 2020, out of 3,066 road accidents, 1,236 Nigerians died, constituting 95 percent adult and 5 percent children. The primary cause of the accident was also overspeeding, which accounted for 57.26 percent of the accident.

There has been an increase in the number of road traffic accidents. In the first half of 2021, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) recorded 5,320 road accidents. A total of 33 751 people were involved in the accidents, 15,882 sustained various injuries, 15,398 were rescued without crashes, and 2,471 people died in the accident. These statistics also indicated that overspeeding is the primary cause of road accidents.

Furthermore, the global road safety facility report also shows that 45 percent of road fatal crashes are in an economically productive age. This implies that a significant proportion of economically productive people die or render incapacitated due to an accident. The WHO said that approximately 1.3 million people die due to road traffic accidents. The effect of road traffic accidents costs most countries about 3 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP).

Most people who sustain fatal injuries become incapacitated through the injuries they suffered from a road accident. Some become bedridden, some leg(s) or hand(s) got amputated. At the same time, some have internal damage that is not noticed when the accident happens, only for them to start having complications in the future. This also amounts to the death of some of those affected.

Approximately 90 percent of road traffic accidents happen in low and middle-income countries. While halving the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2030 is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), statistics still show that Africa has the highest percentage of road traffic death while Europe has the most negligible rate. Then, how achievable is this when people break traffic rules, and some roads are bad?

There should be increased enforcement of road traffic rules like checking vehicle conditions and phone use, drinking alcohol while driving, and overloading in this festive period. There should be an increase in FRSC patrol vehicles and motorcycles on motorways this Christmas and New Year.

While some people believe that some spiritual forces in the ember months cause accidents to increase, we are often the architect of most of these accidents. At times you will see passengers encouraging drivers to increase their driving speed in order to get to their destination early. Although you may know the state of Nigerian roads, you are unaware of the vehicle’s condition. So, remember that no substitute for your life and value it by adhering to traffic rules and regulations.

Busayo Aderounmu is an economics lecturer at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State.