Road Accidents in Kenya have claimed the lives of our loved ones and left many with scars to remind them of the ordeal they went through. Just before the country recovers from one accident, another accident hits the news claiming the lives of our fellow Kenyans. It is the duty of every person to campaign for safer roads because anyone can be a victim of the same.
Most road accidents, minor or fatal are caused by human error and carelessness on the road. The single most important reason why people go to driving schools is to learn all the rules of the road.
Breaking the very same rules that keep people safe is savage and reckless at the same time. Every road user should be vigilant while on the road to guarantee the safety of everyone.
Just because you are a good driver does not mean that you cannot be involved in an accident. Take note of the behavior of other drivers around you at all time to avoid being a victim of someone else’s recklessness.
Major Cause of road accidents in Kenya
In our effort to campaign for safer roads, we have investigated the common causes of road accidents in Kenya. Take note of them and be responsible if you value your life and the life of other road users:
- Drunk Driving
- Distracted Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Night Driving
- Wrong-Way Driving/ Improper Turns
- Car Design Defects and imperfections
- Ignoring Red Lights
Despite countless campaigns that discourage drunk driving, Kenyan drivers don’t seem to be concerned about their drunk driving. In fact, drunkards will tell you that the car knows the way home.
Unfortunately, you can only get away with this habit for too long before you end your life in a ditch and sadly end the life of other innocent road users. Drunk driving is the deadliest cause of road accidents according to NTSA.
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Alcohol affects your judgment and alters the normal functioning of your brain which can easily lead to making irrational decisions leading to accidents. If you have had anything to drink, take a taxi or give your keys to a sober friend. It is not worth the risk.
2. Distracted Driving
Most people do not realize that driving in itself is already a risk. When you start to distract yourself when driving you increase the chances of being involved in an accident.
Distractive driving is one of the major reasons why you see accidents on our roads. It has been noted with great concern that distractive driving becomes a bigger threat every year.
Young people are particularly ignorant of the danger they put their lives in when they use their phone while driving.
Other distractive things you should not do when driving include eating, reading, excessive talking, applying make-up while driving, wearing clothes while driving and texting while driving.
Modern cars have seen significant improvement in technology and handling compared to previous models. Just a little pressure on the peddle thrusts the car in a magical way that can be tempting especially among young people.
Most people are tempted to speed when the road they are using is smooth, when they are running late or when drag racing with a friend. Speed is the second cause of many road accidents in Kenya.
Speed does not give you time to make a decision and before you know it, you have slammed into an oncoming car head-on.
Make sure you always drive within the speed limits and be extra cautious especially on roads you are not familiar with. Resist that temptation to prove yourself to other drivers because most of the time it does not end well. SPEED KILLS!!!
Rain causes treacherous and slippery road conditions that should be avoided where possible. However, you cannot always avoid driving in the rain but when doing so, be extra cautious because if you are keen, you will notice that most accidents occur when the road conditions are compromised.
Rain reduces visibility on the road and makes the surface slick. If you have trouble driving in such conditions, it is wise to pull over in a safe zone and wait for the rain to subdue.
5. Reckless Driving
I am sure you have seen drivers who change lanes recklessly and too quickly without paying attention to other road users.
Reckless driving accounts for a significant number of road accidents in Kenya so please do not be added to the statistics.
Recklessness such as driving aggressively because someone provoked you, over speeding on black spots and following other cars too close lead to horrible accidents on the road.
Always remain calm when driving and ensure that you have enough space left, right, front and back to avoid needless accidents caused by simple carelessness from other drivers.
6. Night Driving
Visibility is everything when driving and when night falls, an unprecedented danger is unveiled. Lack of visibility makes it hard to see road signs, to study the road conditions ahead of you and increases the risk of hijacking. Where possible, avoid traveling in areas you do not know at night to avoid any accidents.
7. Wrong-Way Driving/ Improper Turns
Wrong-way driving is another cause of road accidents in Kenya and a mistake that drivers often ignore. Everyone makes mistakes, but lapses in judgment while driving a car can cause horrible accidents.
Be aware of street signs warning of one-way streets no U-turns or other irregularities, especially in unfamiliar areas.
Always look out for traffic signs and obey the proper right-of-way when you make a turn. When people don’t get in the proper lane when driving, accidents happen.
8. Car Design Defects and imperfections
You know they say that man is to error and cars are made by men. Sometimes, human error while the car was being made can be a major cause of accidents.
We have heard of cars that catch fire because there was a problem with the wiring at the factory level.
Always ensure that the car you are going to buy has good reviews and in case of a recall from the manufacturer, be sure to take note of the problem and have it fixed before it becomes tragic.
9. Ignoring Red Lights
There is a very good reason why traffic lights are placed at strategic locations, especially at intersections. While stopping at a red light should be obvious, it is definitely a point that bears repeating.
Kenyan drivers are ignorant about these lights especially at specific locations in Nairobi. Red Always means STOP! Even if no other car is in your vicinity or no pedestrian is crossing the road, you should stop.
If you cause an accident by running a Red light you can cause a horrible accident. You will be breaking the law just as you will be breaking the News.
Tailgating is following the car in front of you very closely than the required distance. It is a common problem on our roads especially when people are trying to beat the jam.
You will see individuals who tailgate an ambulance just to beat the jam. This can be serious in case the car ahead of you applied emergency braking.
Before you know it, you will be calling your insurance for damages and perhaps visiting a hospital for injuries. There is no reason that is good enough to justify why you should tailgate another car.
Keep a safe distance from other cars so that you will have time to react to sudden turns or instant brakes.
Before you decide to take any risk when driving, just think about how wonderful life is. Think about your loved ones, your business and other dreams that you are yet to achieve. Everyone else who is using that road has the same dreams and people who love them as much. Always be cautious and avoid all distractions while driving to make our roads better. LIFE IS WORTH LIVING!
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