NTSA’s recent mapping exercises revealed that the black spots on our Kenyan roads have increased which also puts us at a greater risk of being in accidents. With 273 black spots being identified, one has to be conscious about their road use at all times. While most accidents involve vehicles on the road, recently we have had more pedestrian fatalities which means that we all have a role to play when it comes to road safety. With our commitment to safety, we cannot continue to ignore that most accidents on the roads are more often than not avoidable. Today, we will list down tips to stay safe on the roads.
- Do use a pedestrian crossing or better still, a fly over.
It goes without saying that wile on a highway trying to cross a road, your safest bet should be a flyover yet we repeatedly choose to run across the road exposing ourselves to being crashed while we are at it. Some fly over points are too off perceived ‘crossing points’ but i do not think that should feature in the debate while you want to try to cross a busy highway.
- Reflective jackets and protective gear for motorcycle users.
A crash on a motorcycle can prove fatal even after all the due precautions have been adhered to. Imagine how this chances are quadrupled when you choose to go without your gear while riding a motorcycle. Passengers on boda bodas should also demand for a helmet and reflector jacket before getting on the ride. This makes it easy for other road users to see you and in the event of an accident you are protected.
- Check that your vehicle is roadworthy before you leave the house.
Some accidents are caused by stalled vehicles on the road and drivers that fail to put stop signs at a good distance to alert other road users that the vehicle is stalled. Sometimes you cannot avoid mechanical problems but if you can, ensure you get them sorted before you leave your house. Check that your tyres are also in good condition and are properly inflated to avoid having tyre related accidents. Or, simply leave your car at home if you are not sure it will tide you through your whole journey.
- Do not drink and drive.
Drinking slows down your reflexes making it harder to react to situations as fast as you normally would and slows down muscle function which also makes your vision lazy. Couple this with driving and you have a recipe for death. Do not drink and drive. With the many options today to get you home, always choose your life. If you must drink ensure you have a designated driver or pick your car the next day.
- Do not text and drive/ Call and drive.
You may think you are good at multitasking but in that moment you take to check your texts, an accident could occur. It is always best to have your eyes on the road at all times and keep distractions at a minimum.
- Keep within speed limits and pay attention to road signs.
The signs were put there for a reason so it is wise to follow them Also keep within the speed limits at all times to avoid being met with surprises especially on unfamiliar roads. Also slow down when weather changes like during heavy rain since visibility is impaired and roads tend to get slippery then.
- Always have your safety belt on.
This could be the difference between life and death in the event of an accident. Make it a rule to have everyone in the car have their safety belts on. For small children, ensure they have a baby seat and that its well secured. Also have the ‘child lock’ on.
- When tired, rest.
For long distances, always rest when you feel tired. Fatigue can reduce your reactionary time and make you more susceptible to cause accidents or be in one. It is also not impossible to sleep on the wheel when too tired and that will not end well.
There is definitely much more you can use to stay safe on the roads so make sure you use all of them. Overall, being alert is the most important sense on the roads.