Saturday, 10 November 2007

Accidents on our Roads

Let me start my postings on this site with the issue of road safety, which has become a nightmare in this part of the world - Nigeria. The truth is i have seen too many consequences of poor safety culture and behaviour on the roads that i am almost left with the conclusion that surviving on roads is an issue of survival of the fittest or rather the luckiest. For some of us who have either experienced an accident on the road either as an actor or a witness, what i am trying to say here will make lots of sense.

Lagos - Ibadan expressway is one road that i use so frequently in spite of the numerous hazards and carelessness displayed by users of the road. Do i have a choice? May be or may be not! Recently, another accident occurred on the road as usual and by the time the news filtered into the society, many lives were gone...wasted resources - lost forever!

I passed through the spot of the accident last week and the sight of the destruction caused by fire was horrible. Although the charred and burnt bodies of humans were no longer there, the number of vehicles trapped and burnt beyond recognition can only bring back the memories of the number of people who must have lost their lives in that one second mistake by at least one of the drivers involved in the accident. I have attached a picture of this in this posting.

This brings to the fore one of our cardinal statement in safety - every accident could have been prevented by at least one party involved in it. This accident must have been caused by a chain of many factors, but there is definitely something that could have been done, either to prevent it or to mitigate the effects.

To the safety personnel, one question readily comes to mind whenever this sort of accident happens: What can be done to prevent recurrences? I am sure this question is rarely asked and if asked, not answered by the concerned parties , but you and I have got a duty to ensure that this does not occur next time either to us or others through creative and safe decisions. Some of the actions may include driving at controllable and legal speed limits, avoiding night and drunk driving, practising defensive driving skills, etc.

There is a question that i always ask and would like to leave you all with: if all things and conditions are equal and constant, between a safe - defensive driver driving a bad car and an unsafe-careless driver driving a good car, who would you prefer to ride with?

Lets have your contributions and comments on this. I am sure we can help each other stay alive on our roads with our constructive ideas.

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