The abuse of alcohol has been identified as a leading cause of road accidents across the globe, and in Nigeria research has shown that more than 70 per cent of drivers in the rural and urban areas consume alcohol before driving.
Speaking with journalists on the findings of the National Crime and Safety Survey, NCSS conducted by the CLEEN Foundation, an NGO, its Programme Manager Lagos, Mr. Nengak Daniel said “72 per cent of surveyed drivers in the rural areas and 74 per cent in the urban areas reported that they ‘sometimes’ consume alcohol before driving.
Another 5 per cent (both rural and urban) said they do this ‘often/always’ while only a total of 22 per cent of respondents in the rural areas and 21 per cent in the urban reported that they “hardly” do this. He said obviously the trend of alcohol consumption among drivers is a common phenomenon in both rural and urban areas of Nigeria and that there are presently no easy ways of enforcing the regulation against the abuse of alcohol among drivers.
He lamented that passengers do not have the means to know the level of intoxication of a driver before embarking on a journey. Speaking further on the findings of the research, Daniel said a trend analysis of road accidents in Nigeria is very illuminating saying, “We saw a one per cent drop from 11 per cent in 2012 to 10 per cent in 2013.
But across a 4-year grid we are seeing nearly a 50 per cent consistent drop from the 18 per cent recorded in 2010 to the present 10 per cent” He said the result of the research further showed that if accidents are calibrating by time, no part of the day was significantly accident free.
On managing of road accidents, Daniel said though the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC is the main agency mandated to ensure safety and swift response to accidents on the roads, “Our survey showed that Nigerians were more inclined to reporting accidents to the police rather than the FRSC”
He further disclosed that despite the higher figures reported to the police, findings of the survey revealed that many road accidents are still unreported.
On the perception of the FRSC, Daniel said a large number of respondents in the survey rated the FRSC as ‘ineffective’ when it comes to their performance in reducing road accidents and fatalities in the country.
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