Road transport is a
critical structure for economic development of a country. It influences the
pace, structure and pattern of development. Nigeria has one of the largest road
network in Africa. However, Road safety is an issue of national concern. Surge
in population and motorization in the country along with expansion of road
network contributes to the number of road accidents, injuries and fatalities.
Road accidents create
negative impact on the economy, public health and the general welfare of the
people. Road accidents are human tragedy involving tremendous human suffering
in terms of premature deaths, injuries and loss of productivity, etc. It is
heartening that for the first time in two consecutive years, i.e. 2012 and
2013, there was decline in number of road accidents, the number of persons
killed and the number of persons injured in road accidents.
deaths and injuries which occur each year need not happen. Significant
reduction in accident rates is possible only by a wide variety of improvements
in design of vehicles, operating environment and infrastructure, and
enforcement of safety regulations and standards.
The current issue
includes various dimensions and magnitude of road accidents in India and brings
into focus the challenges relating to the prevention of road accidents and
their impact. The data and analysis on road accidents contained in this volume
would help to create awareness and assist in decision making in the area of
road safety. I hope, the document would be useful for policy makers, academia,
citizens, and civil society organizations working In areas that have an
influence on road safety.
An accident, also
known as an unintentional injury, is an undesirable incidental and unplanned
event that could have been prevented had circumstances leading up to the
accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence. Most
scientists who study unintentional injury avoid using the term “accident” and
focus on factors that increase risk of severe injury and that reduce injury
incidence and severity (Robertson, 2015).
It is well known that
traffic accidents are of high importance to the public health spectrum in the
world. Moreover, in developing countries such as Nigeria, the mortality rates
from road traffic accidents are rather high compared to other countries in this
region. Media reports reveal that Nigeria’s road accident’s is very high, compared
to other developing countries. In 2001, Nigeria was rated as the second highest
road traffic accident prone nation among six West African countries, with 73
deaths per 1000 accidents. (Sarpong, 2011).