By Zina Kaja
We must accept this fact. The road standard in Nigeria is a disaster and might never improve in a long time to come. The best solution is to properly adapt and be overly careful when using the roads.
The Nigerian government over the years have issued failed contracts to bidding contractors who take advantage of the uncoordinated system of government to execute sub-standard roads which live span is as long as the rainy season only.
Lives have been lost annually and the statistics of lives lost to Nigerian roads can no longer fit statistical scales due to maximum increase in deaths annually.
Every Nigerian child has born to believe that all roads should naturally have pot holes. Government has launched several campaign to ensure Nigerian road standard at least hit the average rating but all this efforts haven’t yielded positively.
In February 1988, the Federal Road Safety Commission was launched to tackle the growing menace of severe road traffic accidents. Their major function was to make the roads safe for motorists and other road users and ensure that traffic rules and regulations are followed strictly.
Since the installment of this paramilitary organization, campaigns have been on to reduce highway casualties and highway defaulter who are nonchalant about safety and traffic rules.
The target of the road safety commission is to reduce road casualties by 50% by the year 2020. Statistically, that’s an impossible task considering a lot of factors which are;
-Lack of road safety orientation by drivers who deliberately ignore road traffic rules and regulations knowing they can get away with such penalties.
-Issuing of drivers license to non qualified road users. There are know instances where these licenses have been issued to blind individuals and handicapped citizens.
-Technical inefficiency of FRSC, due to poor equipping by the government to handle challenging tasks on the road.
-Recruitment of FRSC staffs who are not qualified to handle the task at hand.
Traffic accidents are the biggest single cause of death that kills on a rapid scale in line with malaria and HIV/AIDS. The world most dangerous roads are situated in Africa, and Nigeria is a dedicated contributor to bad roads.
Life is valuable and shouldn’t be risked for the purpose of road competition and speed on such disfigured roads like Nigeria’s which could prove fatal at any given day.
There are safety measures specially for Nigerian road uses, if followed could be vital live savers. These rules should be followed strictly and should be a part of our daily driving routine.
-Always follow your lane. Nigerian drivers are fond of following a one way direction when there is traffic on their own lane just to be on the gaining end. This is very dangerous and complicates the traffic even further as oncoming vehicles could cause a nasty collision with such road defaulter.
-Ensure your speed limits are reasonable. Speed limits should be regarded with utmost priority. An average speed limit gives you more control of your vehicle if you encounter potholes or obstacles when driving .The vehicle can easily be navigated with when at reasonable velocity and avoid severe collisions.
– Never forget the use of your horn. There are no limits to its use. Use it however and whichever way you think is necessary whenever you sense the slightest obstruction so as to keep car owners and pedestrians on alert.
The horn is used at anytime, corner, highway, uphill and downhill, at any kind of environment never hesitate to use your horn. Its is not a fancy tool.
– The road is not a competition, do not struggle to make a point on the road. There will always be road dare devils who do not care about safety rules. If you sense an aggressive road user, do your best to avoid such drivers. Never contest with bigger vehicles and tankers.
-Keep vigilant always. Your eyes should always be fixed on the road at all times. Potholes and obstructions are regular on the road and could prove fatal if ignored.
-Your brake is a life saver. Never hesitate to use it quickly when necessary. Your chances of survival are higher if you can put your vehicle to a halt. Master the position of your brakes like the tip of your fingers and make if a part of your reflex.
Be prepared to brake and swerve at any given time. The road is not a guarantee.
-Road safety officials are not there on fanciful purpose. Obey their signals and follow vital road instructions. Know when to go, and know when to stop.
-Never overload the number of passengers in your vehicle . Avoid overcrowding a vehicle and avoid entering taxi’s that take passengers above its limits. This habit could prove fatal if an accident should occur.
-Never disregard the use of seat belts. Always make it a habit to wear your seat belt before starting your vehicle.
Following this few simple tips routinely would greatly decrease your chance of falling victim to the hazards of Nigerian road accidents. Drive safely.