Lets consider the meaning of safety; SAFETY simply put, is taking proactive measures or steps to avoid uncertainty or perhaps unforseen circumstances on our highways. It could be explained as thus; staying off those things such as drinking, intake of illicit drugs, among other things like external distractions while on steering.
There are several factors that constitute road traffic accidents. But we’re basically going to beam searchlight on three which summarizes every other factor.
1. HUMAN FACTOR
This has to do with the kind of attitude we put on while using the road.
It is a critical aphorism that the ‘brain is the epicentre as well as the engine room of every human. This implies that all activities that precedes human action manifest from inside-out. This is especially true because majority of our road accidents are tied to the actions or inactions of man.
Some of these activities are; but not limited to over-speeding, drinking and driving, intake of external influencers such as Indian hemp, cocaine, inability to observe road signs and symbols, psychological issues, among other recklessness on the road.
Note! You can never be at you best when you’re under the influence of something because chances are that you stand a great risk in that activity.
2. MECHANICAL FACTOR
This has to do with our inability to keep in check the nitty gritties that will allow our vehicles serve us better which in turn, makes our vehicles vulnerable to avoidable circumstances.
This includes; failure to check our engines and change oil as at when due, failure to check our tyres to ascertain their road worthiness, lack of spare tyres to alternate emergency issues, lack of side mirrors to view other vehicles behind, inavailability of functional fire extinguishers to salvage or quench sudden fire outbreak, long term brake failures with no adequate plan of fixing it, the Nigerian mentality of economizing things at the expense of our lives, and other mechanical inaccuracies on our vehicles.
Doing a routine check and carrying out early morning parade on our vehicles can help us spot out some of these things and urgently attend to them to save lives. The early morning parade on our vehicles will enable us before going out to start the activities of the day to check the oil gauge, water gauge, check the tyres and thoroughly conduct a raid on other parts of the vehicle to ascertain it fitness level. This is necessary because a vehicle that is not fit would likely not fit in our Nigerian roads.
I have come to discover from experience that most of us are usually more concern about the fuel level in our vehicles as we’re often used to checking our fuel gauges most of the mornings and all the time. As soon as we notice that there is enough fuel in the vehicle, then we are good to fly not minding to check if at all, there’s any other place that would have required urgent attention as we proceed for the day’s activity.
We must change our mentality on this because we’re actually trading on human life.
3. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTOR
This factor often leads to accidents when we fail to observe or take cognizance of the environment in which we drive on. Apart from vehicular movement, the environment is made up of road users and other traffic related elements such as pedestrians(people walking by the road side), Police traffic checkpoints, Road Safety Marshals on patrol, Animals, road signs and symbols, T-junctions, overhead bridges, roundabouts, gallops, potholes roadbumps and sharp bends or sharp corners.
It is very important to note that, there is virtually no nevigation device that can point to a pothole before we get there. There’s none. Well, if there is, then that particular version is not yet in Nigeria.
Having this in mind as you drive should make you limit your speed level particularly in a road you’re not too familiar with as it will help us scale through such situations when we meet them.
More so, motorists are always in the habit of dodging the Police or FRSC Officials at checkpoints under the pretext of ilegal extortion and the likes or perhaps to avoid what some of us may see as unnecessary delays.
They said ‘it is better to be LATE than to be THE LATE’. ‘Obedience’ they also said is better than sacrifice. A stitch in time was literally proven to save nine. And so, a stop in time by these road marshals on our highways can save us some grave consequences.
Many atimes, we run away from giving N50 to these people and eventually meet our death on the way as the case maybe.
Please don’t quote me wrong here, just like you, I’m not a fan of corruption too. But the truth be told. Please, drivers, for human life sake, let us stop whenever we’re asked to do so irrespective of anything, as it may be a life-saving avenue.
I have heard people say during funerals that if it were to be money he wouldn’t or she wouldn’t have died. And others, often say; if money can buy life, some people would not die. I think we really need to reason on this because so many drivers alongside innocent passengers even though they’re not utterly inoccent most of the times, has met their untimely death by simply maneuvering their way out of these persons whose mandate is to ensure safety on the road.
I don’t mean to encourage corruption here. But if you know, you know.
Finally, I think attitudinal change of every road user is key because by the time all the above mentioned road etiquttes and pitfalls are not given proper care of attention may likely lead to accident.
SAFETY FIRST, SAFETY ALWAYS!. Stay safe