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Road Traffic Collisions Are Preventable

Road traffic collisions (so called accidents) kill thousands of people in Nigeria every year. This is apart from thousands of others who are injured in the process, not to mention damage to property and the environment. Popular studies indicate that driver error is a major causal factor of upwards of about 80% of those crashes.That is to say that much volume of the total numbers could have been prevented if the drivers involved did the right thing and acted correctly, and n time.

While it may be true that a driver's action or inaction plays a critical role in what eventually happens, it is also true only those with the necessary knowledge, skill, training and education are the likely likely to act correctly in time to avoid a looming disaster. Any driver short of good and proper schooling in the art of safe driving education  can on a good day be a problem to self and others. Unless it is possible to give what you do not have.

For according to local authority sources, most drivers plying our roads lack basic safe driving skills as a result of not having passed through approved or standard driver training/education schemes prior to certification. To be certified as fit to safely operate a motorized vehicle on public roads, streets and highways confers a huge responsibility on the licence holder. It is not something to be be taken lightly by anyone, but alas!

Unfortunately, that is exactly what seems to be happening with our driver certification process or processes. That being so, such a faulty process(s) is bound to churn out mostly people with doubtful driving skills as officially certified motor vehicle drivers all year round, much to the peril of public safety.

Driving is generally hazardous but against such a woolly backdrop, it is sure to become even more so for people to stay collision-free or at least feel safe. The prevailing odds appear way too heavy for such luxuries. Imagine a motoring world where you have to routinely face an army of poorly trained, poorly educated drivers at every turn, intersection, traffic lights stop and wherever else and ask yourself what realistic chance you've got. If realization of the enormity of the threat posed to the road user doesn't hit immediately, then I don't know what. But there is something So the next best thing is for the individual to prepared for every eventuality to stay alive as trouble is potentially a whisker away. Truth be told, that trouble will most likely come from what the other road user does or does not do. That is how serious the situation can be.

Safe driving in traffic populated by drivers with less-than-adequate knowledge of the provisions of the Highway Code, road signs, markings, and vehicle performance limitations is truly a hard nut to crack. Yet some do not appreciate that fact so they go on to compound the problem with extras such as drinking, texting, making telephone calls; not to talk of illicit drugs and other substance use or abuse.

Combining driving with anything else is plain asking for trouble. Which is why it should always be borne in mind by road users that the driver's safety and that of other road users around him/her are in his/her hands. There's no better or more realistic way of looking at it.


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