How many precious lives have been cut short due to road traffic accidents? How many loved ones will we continue to loose from the ugly, and painful hands of road traffic accidents? How many disabilities will we continue to have? For how long will we continue to endure the pain, sadness, and anguish of the marks of road accidents. It wasn’t long ago, when my family had to deal with the death of a loved one terribly through such demise.
Oh!, imagine the number of promising destinies that would have been saved, if drivers in whom passengers have entrusted their lives had simply adhere to basic rules on the road.
I know when it comes to statistics, many of us will just scroll pass them and move on to read. But this statistics am about to reveal is very alarming, and needs your undivided attention.
Let me just get right to it, More than 1.25 million lives are lost globally as a result of road traffic accidents (WHO,2018). As if that is not enough, it has also been estimated by the World Health Organization that road traffic accidents is to become the seventh leading cause of death by the year 2030.
Narrowing the prevalence down to Ghana, a total number of 1,634 lives have been lost in 2015, with a sharp rise to 2,198 lives in 2016 (Ghanaweb, 2017). So I ask, what measures are been put in place to reduce this menace eating precious lives?
It is in light of this, that I want o share this top 8 driving tips that can enable you, drivers in general, on how to avoid road traffic accidents.
How To Avoid Road Traffic Acccidents?
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
When you are driving, you should be doing just that and nothing else. Don’t let things happening inside the car distract you from the task at hand. The car is not the place for multi-tasking, so you should not be doing things like brushing your hair or shaving (yes, there are people who actually do these things). If you are not concentrating solely on your driving, you are risking an accident, because you will not be prepared for anything that is up ahead.
Never Use Your Cell Phone
This is one area majority of us fall culprits, let me reiterate the heading “Never and never use your cell phone“. There is no good reason to be talking on a cell phone while you are driving. This is extremely distracting. If you do not have a hands-free model, you will have to look at the phone to dial numbers. Even with a hands-free, you will be talking, which will distract you from your driving. Put the phone away, and make sure it is turned off so you don’t have the urge to answer it if it rings. If you do need to make a call, wait until you are parked before doing so.
Don’t Change CD’s
Oh yes! don’t change CD’s. Here is why? It isn’t really a good idea to be listening to music while you are driving anyway, but if you are listening to CD’s, make sure that you are not changing them while you are driving. Again, this will cause you to look away, and even if you just take your eyes off the road for a second, accidents can happen.
Only change CD’s while the vehicle is parked. If you must listen to music, which itself is distracting enough, try using the radio instead, on your favourite station which is already preset so you don’t have to fiddle with it.
Never, Ever Drink and Drive
If you are caught drinking and driving in Ghana, you will pay the price. Not only will you have a huge fine to pay, you could even end up going to jail and having your vehicle impounded.
Your license will even be suspended. When you are drinking, you do not have the same abilities that you do when you are sober, and that includes the ability to drive safely. Your judgement is impaired, and your vision may not be the greatest either. So many people are needlessly injured or killed every year in Ghana.
If you are going to drink, find alternate transportation. Have a designated driver. Take a taxi. Take a bus. Just don’t take your car. Remember, this also includes driving while under the influence of any drugs, including narcotics such as marijuana.
Avoid Construction Areas
Sometimes, you may need to change the regular routes you take to work, school and other places every day, especially if there is construction going on. There may be detours, which can be confusing for many people and cause accidents. There may also be debris from the construction that you could run over, causing tire blowouts or worse. Until construction is completed, find an alternate route to wherever you are going to avoid the risk of having an accident.
Follow Speed Limits
Speed limits is indeed the killer for many road traffic victims.When you are driving too fast, you are really risking having accidents. For one thing, if you have to stop suddenly, chances are that you are not going to be able to. What if a child was to run out in front of you and you were going too fast?
Would you be able to slow down enough, or even stop, so that you don’t hit him? If you are driving within the posted speed limit, you will not have this problem, because you will be driving a speed that makes it easy to stop quickly if necessary. It is not just pedestrians you need to worry about either. Another driver may not be paying attention and run a stop sign, and you need to be going slowly enough to be able to react on time.
Follow the Rules of the Road
The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) is doing its best in this area. Atleast on our roads in Ghana, there are road signs of which if we strictly adhere to them we will be safe everyday on our roads.
For example, If you are approaching a stop sign or a red light, start slowing down long before you get to it, so that you are able to come to a complete stop at the stop line. Obey all traffic signs; they are there for a reason.
Ignore Aggressive Drivers
There are going to be some drivers who do some pretty crazy things, like speed and cut other drivers off, and sooner or later, you are going to be faced with one of these people. The best thing to do in a case like this is to try and get as far out of their way as possible. If they are crawling up behind you, honking their horn, slow down to let them pass. Don’t play games and just make them angrier. The quicker you can get them away from you, the safer you will be.
I humbly plead with you to practice safe driving skills. Always pay attention to your driving and that of others around you. Finally remember:
- Speed Thrills But Kills’
- Better Late than Never’
- Don’t Drink and drive
- Drive as if every child on the street were your own.
- The best drivers are aware that they must be beware.
Credit to: Find a diving school
Please read and share, and leave your comment and suggestion on how best we can deal with road traffic accident as a country.
Stay tune as I bring you more updates on road safety!