Road Traffic Accidents and Safety Measure – PART 1

Road safety means safety for all road users. Accident risks on the road, during both work-related driving and leisure time driving, involve risks to the driver, passengers and other road users. Today’s continuously changing traffic environment requires constant alertness on the part of road users.

Although undesirable, crashes and fatalities are inevitable incidents of the transportation system. The road systems all over the world are getting more and more congested and unsafe day by day. Road Traffic Accident (RTA) is normally defined as “accident which takes place on the road between two or more objects, one of which must be any kind of a moving vehicle.” Road safety status is the reflection of traffic culture and it is extremely poor in Nigeria.


  1. Driver Related

A. Driver training and testing: Few years ago, statistics indicated that more than one-third of the truck drivers either did not have normal vision or were color blinded. Also similar situation still persists. Research and Observations indicates that drivers who drive on the road holding driving licenses are improperly trained. Most of them are not aware of the defensive driving techniques and dynamics of the moving vehicle.

B. Driver behavior: Some people behave unsafely, and deliberately ignore safety rules. They think they are smart drivers and accidents would
not happen to them. Many want to reach to their destinations too quickly under time pressure irrespective of road condition and traffic density. People take excessive risks in overtaking or tail gating. Every day, one can observe thousands of near miss incidents happening around and when it happens, it kills many innocent people also every day.

C. Over Speeding: Most of the vehicles and roads are designed for a particular speed. With increasing urbanization, vehicle density on the
roads has been increasing exponentially. In such circumstances, it is very difficult to stop a speeding vehicle without hitting someone. A 80 Km/hr speed means, one cannot stop the vehicle in less than 27 meter distance even with full brakes on. Problem is more severe with heavy vehicles.

D. Driver Errors : Overtaking at a wrong place, turning abruptly or stopping without prior signaling, which can cause collision with the
vehicle following; driving fast through villages on road sides, exceeding the speed limit; falling asleep at the wheel, overturning due to going round a curve at excessive speed, driving while intoxicated etc

E. Drugs / Alcohol consumption : Fatal accident rate is high particularly during night times. There are not enough instruments to spot, monitor and punish drivers on consumption of alcohol and drugs

F. Impaired drivers- fatigue : Driving continuously without taking adequate rest results in driver sleeping on the wheels.

G. Too Many Young drivers: Statistics shows that the drivers younger than 21 years tend to drive too fast and too rash. Most of the accidents also happen to these very young age people

2. Vehicle Related

A. Defects in vehicles : Many vehicles are not roadworthy. Effectiveness of Brakes, tyre condition, headlights, signaling and parking lights, loose electrical connections, handbrakes, lack of side and rear mirrors are some of the common defects widely seen. These may look minor defects but many major accidents have been happened due to these defects.

B. Environment around the road: Error of drivers of other vehicles like bullock carts, tractor trolleys, cycles, rickshaw, joy walking, pedestrians, school children cattle or dogs etc. running onto roads being run over.

3. Roads Related Defects

Improper, inadequate road construction, potholes, Signal failures, lack of road signs etc. Studies of accidents registered with the police indicate that the number of accidents due to this reason is around 10% of the total accidents. Even allowing for some errors in analysis of reasons for accidents, the figure will not exceed 20%.

A. Dangerous road locations : In each road, there are certain sections, where a number of accidents of the same type happen too often. To warn drivers, about these black spots, suitable road signs are required to be placed at regular intervals. It helps in driver’s judgment.

B. Pedestrians: Lack of pedestrian walkways, overhead / underground crossings at busy roads, short cuts by pedestrians, drivers
behavior by not allowing pedestrians to cross first are some of the reasons.

C. Poor Rescue systems : (Communications, First Aid, ambulances, hospital facilities) As we all know, most of the fatalities occur due to absence of Basic and timely first aid care. Either people don’t know the use of first aid or they don’t apply it due to perceived complications with police and law. Also, there are delays in getting medical care.

At RCL Safety Centre this training is also available in different Nigerian languages like PIDGIN,YORUBA,HAUSA AND IGBO

Our company (RCL Safety Centre) is an indigenous company dedicated to Health, Safety and Environment Training and Services.

We are technical partners of the National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (NISCN) as well as approved training partners of most major International Occupational Safety and Health organizations like NEBOSH, and corporate members of ISPON (Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria) with thousands of personnel trained in various areas till date.

For more information visit our website:

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Contact us on: 08099700070, 09057666623 or 08164363532

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