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Ogun, FCT, Oyo lead in road accidents during COVID-19 lockdown

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Ogun and Oyo states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) lead in number of road accidents in second quarter of the year, says a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Ogun topped the list with 178 cases; it is followed by FCT and Oyo, which recorded 155 and 152 road accident cases respectively.

Of the total 2,080 officially documented cases, the combined cases recorded by the seven top states (including Ogun, FCT and Oyo) were 918, translating to 44 percent of the number of accidents recorded in the period. The other states are Kaduna (132 cases), Nasarawa (119 cases), Lagos (92 cases) and Kogi (90 cases).

On the flip side, Bayelsa State recorded the least number of cases with only two road accidents. Borno State followed with five cases. Ebonyi and Rivers states recorded eight cases each, while Imo filed nine.

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According to the document, speed violations accounted for 47 percent of the total crashes reported. The report noted that wrongful overtaking “followed closely, as it accounted for 10 percent of the total road crashes recorded while dangerous overtaking recorded the least of the total road crashes reported”.

It disclosed that a total of 855 individuals were killed in the road traffic crashes recorded within the period. The figure is made up of 788 adults (representing 92 percent) and 67 children. Gender wise, male victims were 694 while the females were 161.

The injury list comprised of 5,166 adults and 369 children. NBS added in the executive summary “4,393 male Nigerians, representing 79 percent, got injured in road crashes in quarter two (Q2) 2020, while 1,142 female Nigerians, representing 21 percent, got injured”.

On the income side, the report said a total of 54,672 national drivers’ licences and 155,552 vehicle number plates were produced in the quarter.
 
Accidents in the quarter one of the same year, 1,867, were more than those recorded in the second quarter, showing the positive impact of the coronavirus pandemic on accident cases. Government imposes restrictions on movement for the whole of quarter two in different states of the country.

Executive Director, Truck Masters Nigeria Limited, Oseme Oigiagbe, attributed the rising cases of road crashes to three factors — “attitude, education and infrastructure.”

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He said drivers needed to consistently upscale to catch up with the new technology. He urged road users to check their blood pressure and sugar level regularly. He said drivers with high blood pressure and sugar level were more prone to accidents.

Founder, Safety Beyond Borders, Patrick Adenusi, said the high figures of crashes in some states showed that the restrictions were not being enforced in some places like the FCT.

He said the high accident cases could have been caused by reckless driving, as the roads became “racing tracks”. He faulted the designs of the roads in Nigeria, saying this also contributed to road traffic crashes. He called on government to begin the redesigning of the roads to make them driving-friendly. He suggested adequate construction of road signs and enforcement of vehicle policies.

“We should stop importation of right-hand vehicles. Drivers also need to be cautious. We need more enlightenment so that people will begin to take road signs seriously,” he added.   

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