September 9, 2018

HIGHWAYS OF DEATH: 28,195 killed in road accidents in 68 months

HIGHWAYS OF DEATH:  28,195 killed in road accidents in 68 months

•Nation loses two persons every four hours

By Clifford Ndujihe & Nicholas Esekhile

EVERY four hours, no fewer than two lives are lost on Nigerian roads. And every year, about 20,000 of the 11.654 million vehicles in the country are involved in accidents, Sunday Vanguard’s investigations and analysis of data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, and the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, have shown.

According to the NBS, the number of lives lost to road traffic accidents from January 2013 to June 2018 are as follows:  2013 – 5,539;  2014 – 4,430; 2015 – 5,400; (FRSC):  2016 – 5,053; 2017 – 5,049; January to June, 2018 –  2,623.  Sunday Vanguard’s tally indicated that between July and September 7, 2018, no fewer than 126 lives had also been wasted in road crashes.

Summation of these figures gives a heartrending total of 28,195 lives crushed in 68 months, an equivalent of 415 lives per month, 14 persons per day, and two lives every four hours.

This makes Nigeria one of the countries with very high road fatalities in the world.

Indeed, in May 2017, the FRSC said that there were 33.7 deaths per 100,000 people in Nigeria every year, making Nigeria one of the countries with the highest number of fatalities in Africa.

The FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, made the disclosure during the flag-off of the Global Road Safety Week at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Secretariat, Kaduna.

Zimbabwe has the worst road fatality in the world with 74.5 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. The world average is 17.4; Africa is 26.6; and, according to the International Transport Forum, ITF, Road Safety Annual Report for 2018, the fatality rate for South Africa is 21 while Norway has the least road fatality with two deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

As of March 2018, the NBS put the number of registered vehicles in Nigeria at 11,653,871. With an estimated population of 198 million, the vehicle per population ratio is 0.06.

Since most crashes involve at least two vehicles, and given that 10,026 crashes were recorded in 2017, it means that at least 20,000 of the 11.654 million registered vehicles were affected in the crashes. The figure would be more, if multiple auto crashes were included.

Causes of accidents

The World Health Organisation, WHO, has listed the causes of accidents to include speeding (4-5 per cent); driving under the influence of alcohol and other psychoactive substances; non-use of motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints; distracted driving; unsafe road infrastructure; unsafe vehicles; inadequate post-crash care; and inadequate law enforcement of traffic laws.

Virtually all of the causes are prevalent in Nigeria, especially unsafe road infrastructure. Most of the road networks are in decrepit state and can best be described as roads to hell where human lives are wasted daily.

The Lagos-Badagry International Highway is one of such roads and this is in spite of the ongoing conversion of the road into 10-lane super highway with rail line by the Lagos State Government with World Bank funds. Currently, many stretches of the road are death traps accounting for recurring accidents daily.

Given the humongous lives that are wasted on our roads across the country with the attendant socio-economic losses, all stakeholders must join forces to make Nigerian roads safe.

The WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety 2017  said that, approximately 1.25 million people die each year on the world’s roads, and between 20 and 50 million sustain non-fatal injuries. The Global Status Report on  Road Safety is the first broad assessment of the road safety situation in 178 countries, using data drawn from a standardized survey. The results show that road traffic injuries remain an important public health problem, particularly for low-income and middle-income countries like Nigeria.


WHO key facts

  • The newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set an ambitious target of halving the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020.
  • Without sustained action, road traffic crashes are predicted to become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.
  • Road traffic crashes cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product.
  • Nearly half of those dying on the world’s roads are “vulnerable road users”: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
  • 90% of the world’s fatalities on the roads occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately 54% of the world’s vehicles.
  • Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among people aged between 15 and 29 years.
  • More than 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes.


How Nigeria lost 28,195 lives to road crashes in 68 months

According to the FRSC, there were 12,077 road accidents of which 5,400 persons died in 2015. In 2016, the NBS said there were 11,363 crashes with 5,053 deaths; and in 2017, 10,026 crashes and 5,049 deaths.

Broken down further, the 5,049 deaths of 2017 occurred as  follows: First quarter, 1,466; second quarter, 1,207; third quarter, 1,070, and fourth quarter, 1,306 deaths.

In the first quarter of 2018, the NBS said that 1,292 people died in 2,482 road accidents in Nigeria. Speed violation was reported as the major cause of road crashes in Q1 and it accounted for 50.81 per cent of the total road crashes reported. Tyre burst and dangerous driving followed closely, accounting for 8.26% and 8.42% respectively of the total road crashes recorded.

The second quarter 2018 road transport data released by the NBS, penultimate week,    showed that road traffic accidents killed 1,331 Nigerians in 2608 crashes. Also, speed violation is reported as the major cause of road crashes in the second quarter of 2018 and it accounted for 50.65 per cent of the total road crashes reported.

Also, tyre burst and dangerous driving followed closely as they both accounted for 8.59 per cent and 8.40 per cent of the total road crashes recorded.


Timeline of major accidents in July and August  2018

July 2: Many lives were lost following a multiple auto crash at Ile Zik bus stop, Agege, Lagos on Sunday evening.

July 4: Three teachers were crushed to death by a car driver at Alapako, Ogun State.

July 5: Four persons including a 200 level student of University of Port Harcourt identified as Emem Peace Udoma, died following a fatal road accident in Port Harcourt.

July 9: A Biochemistry final year student of the University of Port Harcourt, Blessing Igoni, died when the power bike she was riding on crashed near Bori Camp in Rumukpakolosi, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

July 13: A middle-aged woman lost her life while six others sustained varying degrees of injuries in a fatal accident along the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, Anambra State.

July 18: Four persons died in two road accidents at different locations in Ogun State.

July 19: A twin, Taiwo and Kehinde Animashaun and their motor bike rider died when motor bike crashed into a stationary truck parked by the roadside in Sango area of Ogun State.

July 19: Four persons died in two accidents at different locations in Ogun State. The first accident occurred at Iju-Atan road and second at Odeda.

July 19: Three persons died and four others sustained injuries in an accident involving a Toyota Corolla car and a taxi at Baagba area on old-Abeokuta-Ibadan Expressway.

July 21: One person died in an accident involving the motorcade of the Youths and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung in Gombe

July 22: Three persons died in auto crash involving a commercial vehicle and a tractor along Gumel Hadejia road in Jigawa State.

July 21: Two persons illegally hanging on a train were crushed when a train averted a collision with an abandoned commercial bus at Pen Cinema, Agege, Lagos

July 28: A final year female undergraduate of Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Fadila Muazu, died in a fatal accident one week to her wedding.

August 10: 11 persons were killed in an accident in Niger State.

August 12: A Magistrate’s son, relation and driver died in an accident at Ekpoma, Edo State.

August 13: A man lost his life after an articulated truck lost control and crushed 14 vehicles along the Abuja-Keffi highway about 100 metres after the Karu Bridge

August 14: 10 supporters in the entourage of the newly sworn-in Caretaker Committee Transition Committee of Batsari LGA, of Katsina State, Alhaji Mannir Ruma, died in an accident along Batsari-Katsina Road. They were returning from the swearing-in ceremony at the Government House, Katsina.

August 15: Six students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, died in an accident on campus. They were heading to the South campus from the North campus for a 9am test when their bus had a bust tyre and somersaulted three times.

August 15: An Iveco truck carrying a 40-feet container crushed a motorcycle rider and his passenger to death in Ogun State along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

August 20: Five persons died and nine were injured in three separate accidents in Anambra State.

August 21: No fewer than 11 people died in a Sallah day auto crash involving a Toyota Corolla bus and Hilux van along Ibeto-Kontagora Road in Kontagora LGA, Niger State.

August 22: Two died in auto-crash on Sallah day when a commercial bus somersaulted on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

August 23: Six people were confirmed dead in an auto crash involving a truck and a commercial bus along the Enugu – Port Harcourt expressway. The truck with number plate; GME 838 XX , was said to have crushed the bus with number plate, EZA 467 YF as they struggled for the right of way at a dilapidated portion of the road at Amavo Junction, Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State

August 27: Three persons on a motorcycle were killed while five others sustained injuries after a commercial driver rammed into them at Bayara village along Bauchi to Dass expressway in Bauchi State. The driver, who drove an Opel Vectra vehicle with registration number AJ 813 NSR was going to Dass local government from Bauchi and was moving against traffic. The driver who was said to be on top speed, left his lane and rammed into the motorcycle conveying three persons who were heading to Bauchi.

August 31: A  former Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Pastor Power Aginighan, his son, Tammy, and police orderly died  in  an  auto accident around the Mbiama end of the East-West Expressway, in Delta State.