The effect of impact speed on the risk of death for pedestrians is colossal, but for vehicle occupants also, injury severity increases with impact speed. The higher the speed of a vehicle, the shorter time the
driver has to stop and avoid a crash. This is why the possibility of fatal injury increases from close to zero to almost 100% as the change in impact speed increases from 20km/h to 100km/h. A car travelling at 50km/h will typically require 1.3metres to stop while a car travelling at 40km/h will stop in less than 8.5metres.An average increase speed of 1km/h is associated with a 3% higher risk of a crash involving an injury. Travelling at 5km/h above a road speed limit of 65km/h results in an increase in the relative risk of being involved in a casualty crash that is comparable with having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05g/dl. For car occupants in a crash with an impact speed of 80km/h, the likelihood of deaths is 20 times what it would have been at an impact speed of 30km/h. It is because of the grave risk involved that a maximum speed limit of 100km/h for private cars and 90km/h for taxis and buses is set on the expressway while at built up areas such as commercial and residential areas; 50km/h is the speed limit.
However drivers are counseled to adhere to common sense speed limit by adjusting speed to suit environment, his mental state and experience. Seat belt, one of the most effective means of reducing deaths and injury for vehicle occupants is the use of seat-belt by all occupants in the front and rear seats as contained in section 58(3) and (4)of the National Road
Traffic Regulations,2004.Seat belt use saves. They don’t prevent crashes but play a crucial role in reducing the severity of injury to vehicle occupants. Vehicle safety features are distinguished by “.primary safety and secondary safety”.
Primary safety features aim to prevent an accident taking place, e.g. Good brakes and tyres. Secondary safety features aim to prevent or minimize injury to a vehicle occupant once the accident has occurred. Seat belts are a secondary safety device with a number of objectives which includes; preventing ejection from the vehicle in an impact, reducing the risk of contact with the interior of the vehicle or reducing the speed of such impacts, providing a distributed force to the wearer to give the necessary support in an accident and restraining the vehicle occupant before guiding them back into their seats.
Child Restraint- Remember that the safest way to carry a child and to protect that child is to use a child seat that is suitable for the weight and size of that child. Do you now that even at a minor crash; an unrestrained child would be thrown about inside the vehicle, injuring themselves and others? They could also be thrown from the car through one of the windows. Do you also know that in a crash at just30km/h, an unrestrained child would be thrown forward with a force, 30 to 60 times their body weight? They would be thrown about inside the vehicle, injuring themselves and quite seriously injuring or even killing other people inside the vehicle.
Do you know that it is not safe to hold a child on your laps? In a crash, the child could be crushed
between our body and part of the car’s interior? That even if you were using a seat belt, the child would be torn from your arms and you would not be able to hold onto to them, no matter how hard you try. Do you also know that it is also dangerous to put a seat belt around yourself and a child or around two children; or to carry that child or children in the front passengers’ seat or on your tummy? That the safest way to travel with that child no matter the distance is a child seat or restraints. Drink driving/drugs-driving is a serious occupation which demands total concentration. It is said to be the most dangerous of all human activities…A recent WHO studies shows that 40 to 60 percent of all injury deaths are attributed to violence.
This is particularly so for traffic accident involving alcohol. ALCOHOL misuse is usually on the high side this season. So too is drugs, whether legal or illegal. But do you know that an estimated 25% of those who drive after drinking get involved in accidents which are alcohol induced and that the chances of you being involved in an accident are multiplied 10times and that such Accident could be fatal depending on the level of alcohol. Like alcohol, drugs affect your driving behavior and can lead to some of the following individually, or in combination: slower reactions, which can make you react incorrectly, poor concentration and confused thinking. An unconcentrating driver is like a mad man with a sharp knife who knows who his next victim will be. A drugged driver is over confident and has distorted perception of the event and situations around him.
He is at risk of taking unnecessary risks which can expose him to unimaginable danger. He also has poor coordination, lacks the composure to put himself together in an emergency situation. He is restive and erratic, unable to be in control of his actions as he loses his composure, sometimes feigning ignorance and showing arrogance at the same time. He also has blurred vision, dizziness and severe fatigue. Drugs and alcohol therefore increases the chances of road crashes but also their fatalities.
Use of phone while driving-phoning mania-is a global problem. Section 80, sub section 7 of the National Road Traffic Regulations stipulates that no driver of a vehicle shall whilst the vehicle is on motion receive or make telephone calls in any form.
The use of phone while driving has its monstrous consequences. This is because driving is a serious business which requires 100%concentation.
Since nobody can do two things at the same time with the same level of efficiency, motorists are prohibited from engaging, while the vehicle is on motion on anything which will prevent the motorists from holding the steering with both hands. One of such is driving and phoning. Distress calls have great destabilizing effect on people emotion and psyche. Exciting calls may also create some negative impulses. The motorists and passengers who are unfortunate enough to be caught in this web of one man’s momentary loss of concentration may be the next patient in the hospital wards, that is on the grounds that they survive at all. Recent research findings indicates that a driver who indulges in the use of phone while driving is worse in terms of his response to an accident than one who has alcohol above the approved legal limit. Even the use of Bluetooth headset which enables you hold the steering with hands would not alter the fact that you will be severely distracted. The use of hands free according to the Transport Research Laboratory makes drivers four times more likely to
have an accident with concentration levels reduced for 10-minutes after the call had ended. The report indicates that drivers making hands free calls have slower reaction times than those than those above the legal limit.
Fatigue-Do you know that globally fatigue remains a hidden killer. Many have died in the name of tyre burst, speed, dangerous overtaking when in actual fact the real factor may have been fatigue that was ignored as nothing serious. What really is fatigue? Rogets 11, The New Thesaurus
defines fatigue as the condition of being extremely tired. A combination of any of the following warning signs means the driver is becoming fatigued: yawning, eyes feeling sore or heavy, vision starting to blur, day-dreaming, thinking of everything else but not driving, not concentrating, becoming impatience, reactions seem slow, speed creeps up and down, making poor gear changes, wandering over the centre lines or onto the road edge, feeling stiff or cramped, you seeing things ,you feel hungry or thirsty, you have difficulties keeping your head up or eyes open, you hear a droning or
humming in your ears, you don’t notice a vehicle until it overtakes you. When you see these signs, please don’t ignore them. Don’t plead the blood or start binding the devil. Once fatigue sets in, there is little you can do about it except stop as soon as possible and take a break. Fatigue is caused by lack of sleep or unbroken sleep. Alcohol and some medications can also cause sleepiness. Although the need for sleep varies among individuals, sleeping eight hours in a 24hour period is common. The effect of sleep loss builds up. Regularly losing 1 to 2 hours sleep a night can create a sleep debt and lead to chronic sleepiness over time. Just being in bed doesn’t mean a person has had enough sleep. Disrupted sleep has the same effect as lack of sleep. Illness, noise; activity can interrupt and reduce the amount and quality of sleep. R.A.I.D.S-Road Accident Immunity Delusion Syndrome. RAIDS is a deadly disease that afflicts you when you disobey traffic rules and regulations; when your vehicle is not properly maintained; when you exude over exuberance and arrogance; when you are over confident behind the wheels; when you depend on charms for survival when driving and when you do not have consideration for other road users. You must therefore note these and take the necessary precautions such as ensuring your vehicle is well maintained, that you respect other road users and comply with all traffic regulations, amongst others.
Defensive driving. Defensive driving is a form of training that goes beyond mastery of the rules of the road and the basic mechanics of driving. It aims at reducing risk of driving by anticipating dangerous situations, despite adverse conditions or mistakes of others. It identifies others as mad while only you are sane. I never saw him is the most common excuse heard after a crash. Virtually all collisions involved in attention on the part of one or both drivers.