By Abdulrahman Salihu
An accident is an unforeseen circumstance claiming the lives of many and inflicting injuries to several others for years. The number of people involved in just motor accidents in Nigeria has risen to 33751. Road traffic accidents statistics show that 5320 road crashes and 2471 deaths occurred in the first half of 2021 nationwide.
In Bauchi, more than 40 people died in ghastly motor accidents in December alone. Last week, four corps members were killed in a car crash after leaving orientation camp from Taraba to Yobe State. Recently, 13 people died on Christmas day in two separate motor accidents along the Lagos-Ibadan and Sagamu-Benin expressway.
It is hard to read newspapers or watch TV without reports of motor accidents that are now prevalent; that is to say, things are getting worse every day. But who is to blame for the frequent accidents that became a new normal in the country where almost all drivers and traffic agents see themselves as saints?
Firstly, reckless driving plays a significant role in causing accidents due to overspeeding, overloading, unnecessary overtaking, failure to check their vehicle stability. These, among other causes, lead to several untimely death of innocent souls.
Similarly, some traffic personnel are neglecting their job by accepting bribes and letting go of violators of rules and regulations guiding road users. Moreover, potholes on the roads contributed to accidents because incidences of drivers having head-collision with oncoming vehicles are numerous. In trying to dodge potholes, they mostly end up in dreadful or fatal accidents with their cars on other lanes. So what are the ways out?
Drivers should at all times check up their vehicles, avoid overspeeding, overloading, and unnecessary overtaking on roads to save lives that they could not create. Road safety and other traffic personnel should discharge their duties effectively without fear or favour. Anybody who violates traffic rules must be sanctioned regardless of his status to serve as a deterrent to others.
Federal and state road maintenance agencies should redouble their efforts to repair roads, and adequate personnel must be employed to have workforce capacity. Lastly, federal and state governments should construct more roads, expand narrow ones and dualize the existing highways to tackle the menace of road accidents in Nigeria.
Abdulrahman Salihu, student of mass communication from Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.