Car accidents are unfortunately very common in Kenya where the majority of these road crashes are caused by human error. While some are relatively minor, thousands of lives are taken every year by these horrible car crashes. Because your life can be at risk if you drive in an unsafe manner, it is so important to drive carefully and follow all traffic laws.
However, just because you are careful does not mean that you can assure that all other drivers on the road will do the same thing. If you are in a car crash, it may not be your fault, and you should not be held responsible for the damages caused by the ignorance or mistakes of other drivers.
Below are the most common causes of car accidents in Kenya. Read carefully to find out what actions you can start taking today to prevent them.
- Distracted Driving
Distracted driving becomes a larger threat every year and has been the leading cause of car accidents for the past decades. Please pay attention to the road while you are driving. That means no calls, no texting, no eating, no reading, no grooming or application of makeup, and excessive talking while behind the wheel.
- Drunk Driving
We have seen NTSA officials chasing after drunk drivers. Drunk driving is one of the most dangerous causes of accidents in Kenya and is the most deadly.
If you have had anything to drink, take a taxi or give your keys to a sober friend. It is not worth the risk.
Although it can be tempting to push the speed limit when you are running late, speeding is the second most common cause of accidents, so you should resist the urge and stay within the legal limits.
- Reckless Driving
Changing lanes too quickly, speeding well over the limit, and acting aggressive on the roads can lead to horrible accidents. It is important to take your time and remain calm while driving to avoid needless accidents caused by simple carelessness.
While you can’t always avoid driving in the rain, the slippery, treacherous road conditions caused by heavy rains should be avoided when at all possible.
If visibility is too low to drive or the roads seem particularly slick, you should pull over and wait until the storm passes.
- Running Red Lights
It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating. Red always means stop. Even if it seems like no other cars are coming, you can cause a serious accident by running a red light and you will be breaking the law.
- Night Driving
Lack of visibility makes hazards more difficult to see at night. Make sure that you are extra alert on the road at night, and use your full lights when on an abandoned road without streetlights.
- Design Defects
Sometimes accidents are caused by flaws in the car itself. While you cannot always avoid this, make sure to take note of any recalls and take your car in for regular maintenance.
This is common on our roads where drivers take advantage of the ambulance and follow it closely to beat the jam. There is never an excuse to get too close to the car in front of you, no matter how frustratingly slow the jam may be moving.
Keep a safe distance from other cars so that you will have time to react to sudden turns or uses of brakes.
- Wrong-Way Driving/ Improper Turns
Everyone makes mistakes, but lapses in judgment while driving a car can cause horrible accidents. Be aware of street signs warning of one-way streets or other irregularities, especially in unfamiliar areas.
When people don’t get in the proper lane to make a turn, use signals properly, or follow traffic signals, accidents happen. Always look out for traffic signs and obey the proper right-of-way when you make a turn.
- Teenage Drivers
Subarus have had popularity where teen and young adults can be spotted almost everywhere hovering in them. Teens don’t have the experience to know what to do in unsafe conditions and that naivety causes accidents.
If you have teenagers, make sure that they have had a defensive driving course, do not permit cell phone use while driving, and limit the passengers they can take with them in the car.
While alcohol is the culprit we usually associate with DUIs, drugs, including marijuana, prescription pills, and other illegal drugs also cause terrible accidents. Never drive if you are under the influence of any drug, prescribed or not.
Potholes are very frustrating for drivers because sometimes they can’t be avoided. Some of our roads are notorious for potholes and authorities do not seem to be much concerned.
However, in order to remain safe, try to drive around potholes to avoid damaging your car, when you can, but do not swerve into another lane if cars are coming.
Despite the fact that there are some laws that could work in your favor, don’t take chances, especially with the heartbreaking car accident statistics from previous cases.
- Tire Blowouts
If you get a flat while driving, it can cause you to swerve unexpectedly. Try to stay calm and keep control of the wheel while pulling over as soon as it is safe. Call for help if you cannot change the tire yourself safely.
- Animal Crossings
Anyone who has ever heard someone tell about hitting a Cow, a dog or any wild animal knows that this is a big danger.
For this reason, take extra caution when you see an animal crossing and always use your high beams when traveling in rural, woody areas where wild animals are common.
Before you drive, think about how wonderful life is, your loved ones (even if you’ve sorted your estate planning), your business and the other great dreams you still have to achieve in life. Be proactive by taking precaution and removing all forms of distractions that might hinder your focus along the way. Life is worth living!