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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Road Accident

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.

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).

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