At the end of each year and the new year, road traffic accidents will increase. On a quarterly basis, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its road traffic data, 1,668 people were killed in road accidents in the first quarter of 2021; 1,453 in the second quarter; 1,432 in the third quarter; and 1,432 in the fourth quarter. 1,652.
According to statistics, 5,053 people were killed in 2016, 5,121 in 2017 and 5,181 in 2018. Some 5,483 and 5,574 people were killed in 2019 and 2020, respectively, while 2021 saw 6,205 deaths, making it the year with the highest accident rate and death toll.
Specifically, in 2019, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) reported that 3,134 of the 9,218 road traffic crashes (RTCs) occurred in the last quarter of the previous year, accounting for more than a third.
Overall, Statista recorded more than 11,800 road traffic casualties reported in Nigeria in the fourth quarter of 2021.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, Nigeria’s Ogun state, where the popular Lagos-Sagamem highway is located, had the most road accidents in the country. The state reported around 286 crashes, followed by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Abuja-Kaduna Highway with 280 crashes. In contrast, the states of Bayelsa and Katsina have the lowest rates of road accidents.
According to the Office of National Statistics, regionally, the north-central region had the highest number of road accidents during the year with 4,056, followed by the southwest region with 3,451. A breakdown of the data shows the north central region recorded a total of 905 road crashes in the first quarter, followed by the south west with 877.
In terms of casualties for the quarter, the Northwest Territories had the most at 3,143, followed by the North Central Territories. Also in the second quarter, the North Central recorded 1,015 crashes, while the Southwest recorded 876. Casualties in the north-central region stood at 3,006, the highest on record.
Meanwhile, there were 1,041 crashes in the North Central region during the third quarter, followed by 822 in the Southwest. “In terms of casualties, the north-central region was highest at 2,963, followed by the south-southern region at 2,237,” the ONS added.
In the fourth quarter, the North Central recorded 1,095 road crashes and 3,663 fatalities. Additionally, 876 road accidents were recorded in the South West during the quarter.
The National Bureau of Statistics also disclosed that in the first quarter of 2021, there will be a total of 5,193 vehicles in road traffic accidents.
The increase in accidents this time of year and New Years is due to the surge in family, individual and group travel to reunite with loved ones and the consequent surge in business/trade activity. Interstate and intrastate travel generally increases.
This can lead to seasonal highs in unlicensed or reckless drivers, some driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
Road traffic officials attribute speeding violations as the most common cause of road accidents. This is followed by sign violations and wrong and dangerous overtaking.
Therefore, drivers should learn and practice defensive driving and master road traffic laws to ensure the safety of everyone, including pedestrians. Additionally, vehicles must be serviced prior to each trip.
The poor condition of our roads should also be improved. Efforts should be made to fix really bad parts of the road and road safety officials should be able to check for reckless driving on the motorways.
FRSC should step up surveillance and patrols to protect roads and road users. They must work hard to prevent recklessness, overloading and speeding. It must not be a season of dread, but a time of perpetual joy and celebration.
In addition, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited, Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Nigerian Union of Oil and Gas Workers (NUPENG), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Association of Major Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria (MOMAN) , Oil depot operators, etc. must work together to ensure a seamless supply of fuel across the country, and prevent drivers from carrying vehicles to refuel. Under no circumstances should private or commercial vehicles accept the temptation to carry dangerous and flammable materials as fuel.
To ensure that accident victims receive the care they need, Nigerians should embrace the culture of donating blood at blood banks as insufficient blood transfusions lead to traffic accident victims dying of anemia.