Kenyan roads are notorious for road accidents. News on road accidents makes headlines for the newsrooms almost daily. Many Kenyans lose their lives, others suffer paralysis, others are amputated while the lucky ones have a painful memory to keep as long as they live. The government has tried, since time immemorial to reduce the bulk of Kenyan lives that expire on Kenyan roads; starting from the famous Michuki Rules to the night travelling ban for public service vehicles. Road accidents however remain untamed phenomena in Kenya, whose solution better be found sooner than later before it claims any more of Kenyan lives. But what really causes road accidents in Kenya?
These are mistakes made by humans that cost passengers’ lives on the Kenyan roads. The unfortunate fact about them is that they are completely preventable. Whether or not they are deliberate, that does not matter. The fact is that they cause 85% of the documented road accidents, meaning that human error claims approximately 85% of lives that are lost on Kenyan roads. That is sad, isn’t it?
Surely, should we still be talking about this? Sadly, we still are. Should this still be a cause of a substantial number of road accidents? Unfortunately, it still is. Many Kenyans still perish on road accidents because the driver had a date with the bottle and hit the road in a poor state of judgment.
This is another serious issue that causes road accidents on Kenyan roads. Careless mistakes like driving at neck-break speeds at marked black spots and bends, overtaking carelessly, overtaking at bends, and driving fast in bad weather e.g. rainfall and poor visibility e.g. misty conditions and general disobedience to traffic rules and lack of regard for other road users. These factors amalgamate to form a force that is claiming lives on Kenyan roads at alarming rates.
Speeding is another aspect on this list. The need to make as much money as possible only means that drivers try to ferry passengers as quickly as possible to their destinations in order to make more trips. Public service vehicles therefore speed even on rough roads. In the long run, the passengers are the ones to bear the agony for the recklessness.
This is also brought about by the need to make an extra shilling over and above what the employer is aware of. It has been proven that vehicles are designed to safely sustain and transit a specific number of people. If this is violated, the mass of the extra passengers compromises the handling of the vehicle and the braking system all together. This can cause fatal road accidents.
These are the technical problems that compromise the performance of a vehicle. These include among others, faulty braking systems, non responsive steering wheels and malfunctioning parts like wipers in rainy conditions that compromise visibility. They can be corrected if detected early hence regular servicing of vehicles is important to keep the vehicle in a top performing state.
Corruption is rampant in Kenya and basically in the police sector. They take bribes from public service vehicles and allow them on in poor states. The unfortunate fact is that this corruption is deep rooted to the top administration of the police service.