By maria Famakinwa
Car accidents are mostly common during rainy season. This has been attributed to different reasons ranging from over-speeding, inexperience on the part of the drivers, overloading, night journey, disregard to traffic rules among others.
In recent years, there have been serious concern on the increasing rate of road accidents across the country. Hardly any week passes without reported cases of road crashes claiming innocent lives. Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, in his reaction to frequent road accidents in the country late last year revealed that an average of 12 people died daily in 2019 and warned motorists and other road users to always obey traffic regulations for safety.
This period not fully raining seasons, multiple accidents have been recorded in different parts of the country claiming innocent lives. Especially in Lagos/Ibadan expressway where road mishaps is becoming a reoccurring decimal, making citizens of the country calling on the authority concerned to come up with a lasting solution even as we are gradually into the rainy months.
An official of the FRSC, who gave his name simply as Mr Olawoyin while warning commercial drivers to be sure that their vehicles are in good order before putting it on the road revealed that more road accidents were usually recorded during rainy season with its slippery roads. His words, ”Is not every driver that can drive during rainy season and is not every vehicle that can ply the roads when it is raining due to low visibility which worsen traffic conditions and increase accident risks.
”Drivers have been educated on safe drive during rainy season but many of them fail to listen. It is advisable for drivers to first check their vehicles before driving especially during inclement weather. They should pay close attention to the windshield and wipers, battery, headlights, brakes and tyres. Driving through difficult road conditions entail extra caution, while driving during rainy season, drivers should adjust the speed to match the traffic speed, slow down when approaching deep puddles and curves, avoid overloading and discourage night travelling.”
When asked if bad road can cause road accident disagreed and said that instead, bad road help to reduce fatalities because drivers would be forced to slow down when they get to the spot where the road was bad. He added,”The only way where bad road can cause road accident is when the driver overload the vehicle which will force the vehicle back while trying to move or where the road is slippery. That is why it is good for drivers not to overload their vehicles at all for safety.”
Sharing a similar sentiment, an official of Vehicles Inspection Officer (VIO) who did not want his name in print also warned against putting faulty vehicles on the road during rainy season and disclosed that such vehicle will be impounded by their officers. The man who maintained that most of the road accidents recorded would have been avoided if drivers obeyed the traffic rules said that any errant driver would be made to face the consequence of his/her action.
He said, ”Our major concern is to be sure that vehicles are in good conditions before putting them on the road. Drivers with eyes defect should avoid driving during the rain due to cloudy weather. Vehicle lights should also be put on so that the driver can see clearly. Drivers should not over-speed and when the rain becomes much, it is advisable to park for a while for it to subside before continuing the journey.”
In the contribution of a commercial driver, Mr Emmanuel Ilesanmi, while urging drivers whose vehicle were having break problem to see mechanic urgently, hinted that to drive safely during rainy months, vehicle break must work well with vehicle tyres, so that, when applied, it will hold. He also added that to avert road accident during rainy season, drivers must maintain a constant speed and leave a safe distance between their vehicles and other vehicles. ”Before overtaking, a driver must be sure that the road is free and must not overtake at the corner of the road. Overloading should be avoided during rainy season, especially while plying to be untarred roads. This, can make vehicle tyres slippery and eventually fall, thus resulting into accident.”
Another commercial driver, Mr Owolabi Dada, explained that it takes only an expert driver to drive perfectly during rainy season. He opined that one cannot compared driving during the dry season to that of the rainy season. ”Limiting vehicles speed while driving during rainy season is one of the major steps to avoid autocrash. When you overspeed during rainy season, the vehicle engine will be soaked with water and force the vehicle to stop abruptly, which can cause accident because vehicle coming behind will hit it.
”Not only this, the use of seat belt should be made compulsory by authority concern because it can secure the life of drivers against any unpredictable road mishap. Though, wearing it may be annoying for many drivers but, it is highly vital at reducing the chances of road accidents. There is also the need to adjust the vehicle mirror every 15 seconds to check the side. Drivers who are not experts should desist from driving at night during rainy season, this act has been attributed to the major cause of many accidents on our roads.”
To another commercial driver, Mr Oyo, who linked increase in road accidents across the country to drug taken and alcohol among commercial drivers advised drivers to refrain from taking any drug or alcohol while driving irrespective of the season. He also advised against wrongly overtaken. ”There is need for drivers to be sure that there is enough space between them and on coming vehicles to avoid collision and also put their vehicles in good order before embarking on any journey to prevent vehicles breaking down along the road.
Incase the vehicle brake down on the road, there must be a sign to alert other road users of the broken down vehicle at least, 10 minutes before getting to the spot where the vehicle brake down to avert any accident.’’