July 19, 2024

TNN Newspaper

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Bad Roads, Accidents Everywhere

3 min read

There have been gory stories arising from road accidents everywhere. Once an accident occurs, relatives of the victims are the ones to bear the pains of taking care of their loved ones; that is if they ever survive.
Just this January, while some were making merry, celebrating the breaking of a new year with their loved ones, others were wailing over the loss of family members who were involved in road accidents.
While some attach spiritual connotation to most accidents, especially when it occurs during the festive period, others believes that there are necessary measures to put in place that will reduce incessant road accidents across the country.
Some pastors often advise their members to send through waybill or transact through the bank, whatever they wish to send to their loved ones during Christmas and New Year and avoid travelling, until after the festive period.
In the case of Mr. Victor Animam who died in an auto crash some months ago, alongside other passengers in his early forties, TNN gathered that he was warned not to travel.
A reliable source said the deceased defied a warning not to travel to the village for a certain relative’s burial. On his way back to Port Harcourt, from Abia State after the burial, their vehicle caught fire and not even a single person survived it.
Among the five passengers and the driver, he was reported to have been the only one who was still breathing as at the time people came to rescue them but he died on arrival at the hospital.
On the first of January this year, at the first market junction, Eneka community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, a taxi was reported to have run into a trailer. The level of damage on the vehicle left much to behold than imagine.
Also, on the 3rd of this same month, a man and his wife died at the spot after two vehicles collided, while others were rushed to the hospital.
The mother of a Port Harcourt based comedian was almost a victim when a trailer’s break failed, causing it to divert into where she and other persons were discussing.
Speaking with TNN in an interview, the District General Commander of the Royal Rangers, Ikwerre District, Rivers State, Col. Kalu Uwaku Kalu outlined measures that should be put to place as well as advised motorists on possible ways to avert road accidents.
According to the former trainee of Shell, “by the driving training I had in Shell-defensive driving skills- it was established that accidents don’t just happen, they are caused by several factors. Some of these factors are human factors, mechanical factors etc.”
Kalu explained that “by human factors, we are looking at trainings received by drivers; habits and health conditions, weather conditions. Don’t drive if you are not in a good health condition, right frame of mind, confused, angry, emotionally traumatized, in haste, don’t drive. It’s in rare cases that a doctor conducts oppression on his wife or family member.
“Most common is that passengers watch their driver pick his phone to dial a number and make a call, drink water, eat gala. Some even indulge in discussions that they keep swinging their head front and back like Nigeria flag.
“Only someone who is very much alert and will not dose off should be allowed to sit in front. Sleep is contagious; you can transmit it, especially during long distance and night movement. Passengers are arguing and you want to join in the conversation. A driver? You even block your ear, don’t hear anything.
“It’s much if I go on, one way drivers, over-speeding, untrained. Mechanical factors consist of the state of vehicles on the road; many vehicles on the roads are poorly maintained thereby causing obstructions on the roads by breakdown or malfunction causing accidents.
“Some I don’t-care drivers will wake up and peeeeemm, they are on the road, they won’t check the vehicle, no servicing, fuuuuuuuum, here they go. We need bumpers on roads.
“Again, the dilapidated, devastating condition of our roads is posing more threat, danger than all of those put together.”
He further advised: “My advice is that road users and motorists should observe road conditions, and maintain their vehicles properly. Drivers should be sure they are in good health conditions, physically and mentally before embarking on any trip, no matter how close or long the distance is.”

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