Road accidents in recent times haveposed as a dangerous enemy to our everyday lives; continuously ripping off the human race. Indeed death isinevitable, however, one of the most painful doors through which one bids farewell and exits the world may be as a result of the cruelty of road accidents.
Though it remains an unfortunate situation detested by many,the increase in road accident is alarming. Statistics on road accident keep escalating year after year. Some have associated these heightening numbers to issues of over speeding, drunk driving as well as the use of gadgets such as mobile phones whiles driving.
Most of these road accidents are often recorded around festive seasons like Christmas and Easter. With this, key stakeholders of road safety in Ghana such as the MTTD and the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) undertake programs to educate both drivers and passengers on the need to adopt safety measures but in practical terms, these warnings often fall on ‘deaf ears’; as the country continues to record increasing numbers of road accidents around these times.
The major effect of these road accidents to our country is the loss of human resources. As many people perish through these accidents or become disabled, it affects the quality of human resource base of the country.
The record of road accident since 2016 until now, has always increased in percentage and is a threat to our country Ghana. In the year 2016 is was documented that a total of 11,378road crashes occurred nationwide of which 17,746 vehicles were involved and the total number of sufferers were12,154 which includedthe dead record of 1,990 and injury of 10, 154.
In the year 2017, the percentage increased to 2.66 from that of 2016 when about 2,076 people died in road accident and 1,181 sustain injuries ,and in 2018, according to the Motor Traffic and Transport Department, about 2,341 persons died through road accident which is 12.76 percent jump as compared to that of 2017.
In this year 2019, record from the national Road Safety Commission for January and February states that, there has been 2126 crashes of which 3428 vehicles were involved leading to the record of 411 fatalities and 2440 in juries.
The above statistics prove the increasing levels of road accidents which in turn poses a great risk to our country since the highest percentage of these people fall within the working class.
Ghana spends a lot towards this venture by investing into road safety programs as well as quality health care and compensations to road accident victims. Ghana loses about 1.6 percent of our gross domestic product through road accidents of which$230 million are used for treating the injured.
Furthermore, it develops a negative impact on familiesand loves ones. It leaves husbands and wife as widowers and widows respectively; children are left as orphans and at times take away the bread winner of the entire extended family. It also burdens family members financially if victims develop aspects of disability.The emotional trauma associated with road accidents cannot be overemphasized.
Now how do we curb this menace?
Passengers must play an important role to help in resolving this road accident; however it seems most passengers often avoid the temptation to caution drivers for driving carelessly with the belief that, the drivers will get angry or would not listen to them. Passengers must bare in mind that, their life is at stake and must always keep these drivers on their toes to do the right thing, by following road instructions.
In as much as drivers and passengers are blamed for the cause of road accidents, the nature of our roads must be considered. Most of our roads are not in good shapes. Some are filled with potholes and others have lost their beauty through erosion and all these constitutes to the cause of road accidents.
Again some major highways such as the Accra – Kumasi highway through to BrongAhafo, among others which mostly record higher rate of road accidents are single lane roads and this is a great danger to human life.
Also appropriate authorities must ensure that all rickety vehicles need on our roads be sent parking.Some vehicles need maintenance and others need to be eliminated from our roads. Therefore, the national road safety commission together with the police should put this into practice to get rid of all these vehicles that are traps to our life.
Drivers should adhere to advices and follow road signs to help reduce the rate of road accidents and passengers should also provide useful suggestions to drivers to aid in ensuring road safety.
Working hand in hand with each other to resolve the issue of road accident in our country, will earn the country more revenue through the benefit that will be derived from the labour force and save families and love ones from losing their beloved.
By: PATIENCE GADAH
STUDENT OF THE GHANA INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM