The current estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have revealed that 1.35 million deaths recorded yearly are from road traffic accidents.
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In Ghana, the National Road and Safety Commission (NRSC) indicated that between 1991 and 2018, an estimated 46,284 people lost their lives from road traffic accidents.
Road traffic accidents or carnages recorded in Ghana seems to be increasing as the years go by.
In March 2020, data from the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service revealed that road accidents killed 202 people nationwide.
It represents an 18% increase from the 171 deaths registered in February 2020. The March figures went up because of the Kintampo accident on March 10.
The coronavirus disease coupled with the lockdown of some parts of Ghana, saw a decline in road accidents because movement inside and outside the city were restricted to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In a report filed by theghanareport.com, the Head of Education, Research and Training at the MTTD, Superintendent Alex Obeng confirmed that in 2019, 115 Ghanaians were killed in road accidents as compared to the same period in 2020 which witnessed a significant reduction in terms of deaths to 69.
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Comparing statistics from the MTTD for the same period, vehicles involved in crashes reduced from 1,346 in 2019 to 759 in 2020, a dip of a significant 44 percent.
It is sad to know that since road transport is the cheapest form of transportation for Ghanaians, the cases recorded form road carnages are interestingly high as compared to the other means of transportation in the country.
Road accidents have seen the death of many people from babies to very old people, as well celebrities like, Ebony, Suzzy Williams, Terry Bonchaka, etc.
Most of the causes of these accidents are as a result of carelessness on the part of the drivers, over speeding while driving, non-adherence to road traffic regulations, wrongful overtaking by over confident drivers.
Causes of road accidents
Road carnages can also be caused by breakdown of poorly maintained vehicles while in motion, using mobile phones while driving, and also drunk driving.
Non-adherence to traffic regulations
Most of these accidents that occur on our roads can be avoided if the drivers adhered to some basic road traffic rules like driving within their designated lanes and within appropriate speed limits.
Driving under stress and fatigue
Another causative factor of accidents on our roads is tired or fatigued driving. This mostly occurs when drivers drive for long hours non-stop. The tendency to fall asleep of loose focus whiles driving is very high since
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YEN.com.gh reported a lot of accidents on some accident prone roads like the Accra- Kumasi, Kasoa-Cape Coast highway, Accra-Tema motorway, Kintampo highway, and other roads scattered across the country.
Some of these accidents which happen as a result of head on collision like the one that occurred on the Kasoa-Cape Coast highway, left five people dead and seven others injured. According to an eyewitness who was a passenger in one of the affected cars, the driver of the vehicle that collided into theirs, was driving at top speed while trying to over take another.
On Thursday, September 10, 2020, an accident occurred on the Accra-Tema motorway after a truck load of beer developed faults with its brakes. The accident resulted in the death of one person and the injury of others.
Some drivers choose to operate their vehicles knowing very well they are intoxicated and cannot drive with a clear and focused eye. This carelessness on the part of some drivers has caused many people to lost their lives.
Solutions and ideas to end road accidents
In a bid to ensure that road these accidents are brought to an end, it is important for both the government and others stakeholders involved in the transport sector take a critical look at all the causative factors of accidents on our roads.
The government must make it a point to prosecute drivers of vehicles who cause accidents on roads as a result of their disobedience to road traffic regulations.
The transport unions at the various bus terminals are also to ensure that their vehicles that go on long journeys have extra drivers on board. This would ensure that when one driver is fatigued and sleepy, the other driver would take over and take the passengers to safety. It is also advisable for the driver to remember to get plenty of rest the night before a long trip if there would be no spare driver on board.
Also, drivers are to ensure that at all times, they keep their eyes on the road, and avoid using their mobile phones and other devices while driving.
No drunk driving
All drivers are also to ensure that, they do not drink alcoholic beverages before sitting behind the steering of vehicles to take passengers to their destinations.
It is pertinent that each and every driver checks his vehicle before setting it in motion. Aside doing that on a daily basis, it is advisable to know that routine checks on the vehicle by professionals would help identify any problem with the vehicle.
Adherence to road safety regulations
It is advisable that all drivers adhere to all road safety regulations carefully outlined by the National Road Safety Commission in order to put an end to road accidents in Ghana, as well as save lives of precious people.
The rate at which road accidents occur on our roads and the number of precious lives lost in these carnages can be totally reduced and possibly stopped if both drivers and stakeholders in the transport sector take into consideration these ideas and solutions raised.
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