Mathew had been driving for six hours. His wife had insisted that they rested for sometime but he refused and insisted that it would waste time.
He had an energy drink by him and took swigs, every now and then. Occasionally, he cleaned his face with a wet towel but the tiredness gradually turned into a short nap and it happened.
He ran into an abandoned vehicle. The two woke up in the hospital, heavily bandaged.
According to the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) 90 per cent of all road accidents in Ghana are due to human error.
These sobering statistics show how dangerous and careless habits are putting drivers at risk of injuring themselves or someone else. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Practising common sense and alert driving can help keep our roads safe.
Take a look at 10 of the gravest driving dangers and how one can prevent them from happening in the first place, according to tyright.com
Drunk or drugged driving
Despite the ongoing media reports of debilitating crashes and deaths; a lot of people still get drunk before sliding behind the wheel and heading home. But alcohol isn’t the only way to drive dangerously while inebriated. Smoking “wee” and taking other drugs can also render us intoxicated and unable to focus.
Stay off the roads even if you have only had a few drinks that can lead to reduced reaction time and alertness. Choose a designated driver, call a car service or stay where you are for the night instead of venturing out on your own.
Tired drivers are at an increased risk for crashing their vehicles and driving erratically. Studies show that driving while tired can pose as much danger as a drunk driver. While coffee and other energy stimulants may help you stay awake for a brief period of time, they are not the solution and can even aggravate your exhaustion or provide a false sense of security.
When fatigue hits, pull over and switch driving duties, rest, or avoid staying on the roadways for long periods of time without a break.
Racing down the road may provide a brief thrill or get you to where you need to be a few extra minutes early. Driving fast can cause erratic conditions for your own vehicle as well as those around you. Speed can kill as well as disrupt traffic flow and patterns and set a bad precedence for other drivers trying to follow the speed limit.
But there is more danger in speeding than you may think. Chronic speeding can also cause wear and tear to your car and tyres, leading to expensive maintenance and risk for future accidents.
Ignoring weather conditions
Fog and rainy conditions can lead to serious problems while driving. It’s easy to get complacent on the road on a lovely day, but can turn into a terrorising ride in rainy conditions. Exercise extreme caution in inclement weather and take the time to maintain your car and keep your focus on the road.
Not wearing a seatbelt
If you aren't wearing a seat or safety belt, you could be an accident away from serious injury or death. Declining to wear a seatbelt can turn a minor accident on a city street into a disaster. And regardless of if there are children in your own car, set a good example for kids on the road by always clicking it.
Being too content
We’ve all had that moment where we see a serious car accident on the road and want to stop and look. We sober up by the grim reality of dangerous driving and follow all of the road rules for the next 10 kilometers. As we forget all about the accident behind us, we forget about the dangers of the road and slip back into speeding and getting distracted while driving.
Keep yourself from becoming complacent by remaining diligent about being a safe and conscientious driver.
Driving with your knees
Ghana’s expansive landscape can tempt people to tune out and drive with their knees on the wheel during long stretches on the road. While it may seem like a harmless and a relaxing way to take a break while driving, it can also lead to trouble. Without both hands on the wheel, you have less time to react to a car suddenly stopping in front of you or avoiding an obstruction on the road.
Not being aware of your surroundings
Forgetting to check your rearview and side mirrors makes you unaware of your surroundings and puts you at risk for an accident. It can also make you complacent to the road conditions and leave you at danger for sudden shifts in traffic patterns, speeding motorists and approaching weather.
Keep yourself from experiencing road rage and frustration on the road and stay focused. Enraging other drivers or using your vehicle as a weapon can lead to reckless driving and tragic accidents where no one wins.
Stay safe on the road by taking your driving responsibilities seriously and remaining conscientious of the environment around you. Putting yourself and other motorists at risk isn’t worth getting to your destination a little faster,being distracted or failing to stay alert.
Note: This article was written with additional files from yright.com