ROAD SAFETY: JUST HOW SAFE ARE YOU DRIVING?
Nearly 75% of road traffic casualties are economically productive young adults. Buses and matatu are the vehicles mostly involved in crashes meaning the high numbers of fatalities come from the passengers and pedestrians.
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They account for 80% of the deaths. The main cause of road accidents in Kenya is human error on both the driver’s and pedestrian’s side. You’d be surprised to find out that even insurance companies are feeling the blow.
Road carnage and insurance
In 2019, data from the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) revealed that 70% of the 36 companies that underwrote motor policies made losses. In one of the driving schools in Thika, the drivers in training are taught that they should keep in mind that everyone on the road is mad and they are the only sane people. This is true considering I saw a woman crossing at a bump. She didn’t even run or walk fast. What would have happened if a person who was visiting that area for the first time didn’t know there was a bump there came speeding?
Drivers and motorists sometimes fail to slow down when approaching bumps because the ‘bump ahead’ signs that were there have been stolen or they are installed where the bump is. The reason it’s called a ‘bump ahead’ sign is because it is before the bump and it is there to give you directive. People often steal these signs and sell them as scrap metal just to earn a few coins at the expense of other people’s lives.
Road safety and alcohol
With the recent closure of night clubs and bars in some counties due to increase in the number of covid-19 cases, drunk driving cases are sure to drop significantly. Excessive alcohol has been blamed as a cause of many deaths resulting from road traffic accidents, assaults, thefts and even drowning. It has been said time and again that you should never drink and drive but people don’t listen. Passengers also contribute largely to drunk driving accidents.
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You could be seating in the passenger seat drank and distract the driver causing an accident. How often are you on your phone? We agree that technology is the most necessary evil of our times but that should not cloud your judgment. You have to choose life over the phone.
Many people have succumbed because of avoidable circumstances like texting and driving. Do not let yourself be a statistic. Motorists have a tendency of not wearing helmets and so far so bad. You know being hit in an accident would not necessarily end your life but once you hit the tarmac with your head it is over.
Brenda Mbuthia is a journalism student at KCA University, firstname.lastname@example.org