World Health Organization (WHO) statistics show that annually, nearly 1.2 million people die in road crashes every year. That’s an average death toll of about 3,287 deaths per day. It also states that an additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled by car accidents. And these accidents and deaths happen mostly to 15-44 year old demographic.
How cautious are you when driving? As seen from the figures above, many individuals who lost their lives defenselessly or sustained permanent injuries, did so as the result of someone else’s costly mistake.
Accidents can be avoided
Here are some causes of auto accidents in Nigeria that you should avoid as car owner or driver.
1. Drunk driving
This made the top on our list because it’s the most common and most dangerous cause of car accidents that occur on a daily basis. Many drivers who have crashed their cars have done so under the influence of alcohol. Instead of driving when drunk, it’s best you give a friend your car keys to drive you to your destination, or call Uber.
2. Distraction while driving
The introduction of social technology has really helped us to make communication easier with our families, friends or loved ones. However can’t we say that it has done its share of harm in our society? The one or two seconds that it may take you to reply or answer a call or message on your phone can also cause you a life. When driving, it’s best to put everything on hold. You don’t want to live with the trauma of taking someone’s life or endangering your own life.
You may never see your family again if insisting on a call while driving
3. Weather factors, particularly rains
During storms, the road can get messy and visibility can be hard. For some drivers, it’s no big deal driving when it's rainy, but If you are the type that finds it hard to see clearly on a rainy day, it's best to stop. Pull over and wait until the rain has stopped before you continue your journey.
>>> You can check how chaotic Lagos traffic becomes when the rainy season begins: Reasons why Lagos traffic is chaotic when it rains
4. Night driving
Many times, we might have witnessed a driver who can’t see clearly in the night. Driving in the day can be hazardous not to talk of night time driving. If you can’t see clearly in the night, it’s proper you head to your destination early when the day is still bright but if you can’t make it to your destination on time, give the key to someone to drive you. Or better still, call a cab.
Driving at night and in the rain are hazardous
5. Potholes - Nigerian specialties
Potholes may be neglected on the road but this is one of the ways a lot of accident occurs. The presence of potholes on the road can throw a car off track, or precipitate impromptu swerving which leads to accidents. This is why it’s proper for government agencies to fix any potholes on the road. And when you see a pothole as a driver on your car path, simply avoid it by driving on a clear path so your tires do not drive over it.
Potholes are major accident causative agents
6. Green hands' driving
Although we still have some teens out there that are good drivers and who obey traffic regulations, there are other teens who are just the opposite. As a parent or guardian, it’s not advisable to give your car keys to an untrained teenager or purchase cars for kids or wards who haven’t learned the basics of driving. Don’t let your indulgence cost someone else their lives.
But this cause isn't limited to teenagers only, it relates to all green hands out there who hasn't had enough traffic experience. Of course we can't ban inexperienced drivers because we used to be them in the past, but be extra careful and let's adopt defensive driving when seeing signs of a green hand near you!
Never give car keys to untrained teenagers
7. Driving under the Influence of drugs
Whether narcotics or medically prescribed drugs, some drugs can make you drowsy. If you take medication that has an effect on your alertness, please don’t drive under those conditions.
8. Worn out vehicles or parts
It’s better not to have a car than buy one that is a potential coffin for someone. It is practical to wait until you have saved up enough to buy a good car than to rush to buy and drive one that is in a bad condition. Remember, when you crash into a person, there are legal and physical consequences. If your car is in need of repair, suspend using it until fixed. If it has a faulty car parts or tires, replace them with good and original ones. Prevention is better than cure.
>>> If you must buy a used car, click to read how to buy good cheap used cars in Nigeria!
Take care of your car and it will take care of you
9. Reckless driving
Many people have been left disabled because of some drivers’ reckless driving. Actions like speed driving, changing lanes too quickly, unnecessarily overtaking and acting aggressively on the road have resulted in terrible accidents. When you are driving, be calm and take all your time. It’s truly worth it.
10. Not obeying signs
Running red lights or not obeying road signs when you should can lead to auto smashes. Turning without indication and not paying attention can also lead to these. Before and when you start driving, know your road signs and obey them.
Observing the points in this guide will keep you safe.
Road signs keep everyone safe, please respect them!
>>> Can't remember all the signs? Check our Nigerian tips to know which road sign is there!