I sincerely think that as Nigerians, we need to embrace science and technology, study it and understand it as much as we studied and understand religion and faith. It will do us a great deal!
I am devoted Christian, but the way we allow religion and faith kill us in this part of the world is amazing! You board a dead vehicle from a dead motor park, with almost dead drivers, and instead of trying to check and ask questions such as if the driver is qualified, licensed, fit, not under alcoholic influence or if the vehicle is good, sound and has good tires, we’ll rather prefer to donate monies to fake preachers who come on board to tell you how people die on road accidents because they didn’t give or donate monies to them in the name of giving!
They preach and tell you how to cover the almost dead driver, dead vehicle, dead tires and dead steering with the blood of Jesus, and we’ll shout a loud ‘Amen’ to it?
Why do we derive joy in looking for witches and wizards ho are after us, when we fail to do the most primary things we ought to do to guaranty our safety? For how long can the blood of Jesus continue to allow bad vehicles convey us from Abuja to Lagos all the way? Why don’t we rather pray for miracles that will catapult us from one location to another, if that is so easy?
I will prefer we have technical experts volunteering to visit motor parks, instead of men of God, and sensitive passengers on how to spot inexperienced, unlicensed or drunk drivers, what to check out for before boarding any commercial vehicle; and also work closely with drivers and owners of commercial vehicles, to advice technically on the states and conditions of their vehicles before such vehicles are allowed to hit the roads. The bad side with this option is that Nigerians aren’t good in voluntary assignments that do not pay and Nigerian road users won’t be willing to give tips to such volunteers; they’ll prefer to give to men of God who threaten them with hell fire and dangers of not giving to them.
This is why I prefer to fly when on long trips, because the road transport industry and system in Nigeria is suicide mission, and has little or no functional regulatory body and so anyone can bring any vehicle and anyone as driver to any motor park, load Nigerians like ice fish only to go and waste them on the road. Admittedly, our airways aren’t as safe as it should be, however, the industry is run by highly specialized professionals who have so much at stake in the event of any accident, and the govts are more interested in the sector because it directly affects them.
Created in February 1988, the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, which functions generally relates to making the highway safe for motorists and other road users, has failed Nigeria and Nigerians, and its purpose almost defeated, as they concentrate on extorting road users, instead of ensuring their safety.
Other duties of the FRSC includes: Recommending works and devices designed to eliminate or minimize accidents on the highways and advising the Federal and State Governments including the Federal Capital Territory Administration and relevant governmental agencies on the localities where such works and devices are required, and Educating motorists and members of the public on the importance of discipline on the highway. In particular the Commission is charged with the responsibilities for: Preventing or minimizing accidents on the highway; Clearing obstructions on any part of the highways; Educating drivers, motorists and other members of the public generally.
A similar body, the Vehicle Inspection Office Driver and Vehicle Licensing Administration, VIO-DVLA which primary aim is to standardize the drivers’ license certification process and to maintain a database of certified drivers and vehicles in each State of the Federation for the enforcement of road traffic laws in Nigeria, has also not lived up to expectations, owing to same effects of corruption
As the rate of road accidents increase in Nigeria on daily basis, it becomes urgent that the new govt looks into existing regulatory bodies or create new ones and mandate them to work closely with road transport companies and delegate officials to work at motor parks of the road transport companies, in order to even ascertain the conditions of vehicle before they leave their parks, since accidents can occur before the vehicles reach checking points in most cases.
I will write better on this soonest, but for now, I appeal we separate religion/faith from reality (science and technology) because if we have good/sound vehicles, good and fit drivers + brand new or good tires, then the rate of our road accidents will reduce by a large percent, then a large amount of the blood of Jesus would be saved for better things in the future!
Before the part 2 of this post, kindly find some scientific tips on how to reduce road accidents ‘naturally’ below:
Steps To Prevent Road Accidents
We all know speed is a major factor in many accidents. However, not all accidents are caused by speed and not all accidents are preventable. Yet there are steps you can take to help prevent accidents. Many accidents can be prevented and in those that are not preventable, the damage could be lessened. Here are some tips to help you prevent traffic accidents.
Drive according to road conditions: Drive slower when the weather is bad. Road surfaces deteriorate in rain. The ability to stop quickly greatly reduces when the roads are not dry.
Keep your vehicle in good mechanical order: Replace worn tires and brakes as needed. Keep windshield washer fluid full and change out windshield wipers on a regular basis.
Wear your seatbelt: Not only do seatbelts keep you safe in an accident, it will help you avoid accidents as well. Seatbelts will hold you in place during an aggressive maneuver. If you make an abrupt maneuver, you may find yourself thrown to the passenger side of the vehicle. Remember to make your passengers buckle up, too.
Avoid other vehicles: Back off and don’t tailgate or allow others to tailgate you. Try to avoid driving next to another vehicle in case it has to swerve to avoid an animal or debris that may be in the road. Watch out at intersections as many accidents happen here.
Always slow down and look both ways at intersections: Don’t assume the other vehicles will stop just because the light is red. There is always someone trying to get through the intersection during a yellow light.
Stay away from 18-wheelers: These large tractor trailer rigs require extra space when making wide right turns.Ttherefore, avoid the right side of one, especially if you think the driver will turn right. Don’t drive behind an 18-wheeler on the highway. A blown tire can cause an accident.
Turn your head to check for traffic before changing lanes: Do not rely on your mirrors when making a lane change. All vehicles have “blind spots” in which your mirrors cannot see. Do not ride in the blind spots of other vehicles.
Look extra carefully in parking lots or parking areas: Many fender-benders happen in these areas. Follow the rules set up in parking areas. These rules are for the safety of all drivers.
Slow down: Obey the speed limit even if every other car is surpassing it. Remember that police officers often stay hidden from view while looking for speeders. If you’re caught driving too fast, they won’t hesitate to give you a ticket.
Let others pass you: Defensive driving means letting others go ahead-not defending your position in traffic. Avoid the urge to be a vigilante (“Oh yeah? Let me show you what it’s like to be cut off like that!”) Accept the fact that someone is always going to think they’re in more of a hurry than you. These are the drivers you want to move far away from, not to ‘teach them a lesson.
Try to avoid driving in bad weather: Always keep your windshield wipers going in the rain. Defrost your windshield to keep it from fogging up. Turn on your headlights to help others to see you–this is also the law in some states. If possible, try to avoid driving in the rain at all, especially if your car is not very sound. If you must go out in the rain, drive extra slow, use the brakes and gas pedal gently, and maintain an increased stopping distance.
Never get into a car with a drunk driver: It is always best to have a “designated driver”. Never drive after you have had alcoholic beverages. Even one beer can alter your ability to drive safely.
Wear a seatbelt – This is a must: By law in many countries, all cars must have a safety restraint. Buckling up only takes a second and can save your life in an accident. Children should always be in a booster seat or car seat until they are tall enough and heavy enough to sit by themselves. This generally includes children age eight and under. Never put a child in a car or booster seat in the front passenger seat or other seat with airbags. Children should generally be 12 and older when sitting in the front passenger seat.
Keep your car and its accessories in good condition: Keep the tires properly inflated, the brakes adjusted, and the windshields and windows clean. Replace windshield wiper blades when they begin to streak, and all make sure all the lights are working properly.
Use your signals properly: Always use your signal, even if you think no one is there. When changing lanes on the freeway, don’t signal as an afterthought or during the lane change. Signal at least a couple of seconds in advance so others know what you’re going to do before you do it. (Ever notice how most of the skid marks along the highway are just before an exit ramp? – this is where you have to be the most careful.)
Don’t tailgate: No matter how slowly traffic is moving, keep at least two seconds of following distance between you and the car ahead. Any less and you won’t be able to stop in time if the driver ahead slams on the brakes.
Keep your eyes moving: Don’t get in the habit of staring at the back of the car ahead of you. Periodically shift your eyes to the side-view mirrors, the rear-view mirror, and ahead to where you’ll be in 10-15 seconds. Doing this, you can spot a potentially dangerous situation before it happens.
By Philip Obin, Founder/CEO of 9icefaces.com and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilipObin or email at firstname.lastname@example.org