Drivers enlightened on how to avoid road crashes at CAC Seminar for Drivers

By ‘Gbenga Bankole

It was a day of learning, unlearning and relearning at the seminar organized for drivers by the Authority of Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria and Overseas held on Saturday August 5, 2023 at CAC All Saints’ Chapel, CAC General Secretariat, Ibadan. 

The seminar which also featured eye test was specially organized for all the drivers of the church in line with the visions of the present administration to build capacity in all areas, ensuring safety of all the church personnel on the road.  

Delivering his lecture on the topic “How to use the road & Causes of Road Crash”, a Chief Route Commander of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr. Chijoke K. Inyama said road crashes (road accidents) have resulted in more waste of lives and properties than major communicable diseases and sundry ailments put together.

He disclosed that a research conducted on Road Traffic Crashes has shown that there are three major causes of these crashes which are, Human Factor, Mechanical Factor and Environmental Factor. 

Explaining the human factor as one of the causes of road crashes, Inyama noted that the human factor accounts for 90 percent of road accident which out of this percentage, drivers’ action or reaction makes up 80%.

Identifying drivers (Driving under the influence of alcohol) as major causes of accident under human factors, Inyama said; “alcohol can cause over confidence, poor judgment, lack of coordination, recklessness. In many countries, it is a major cause of road traffic crashes. This is the reason why special tests are conducted to detect those who have been drinking prior to driving. If the alcohol in your body is more than 00.5 percent, it means you are drunk. We have different tools we use to test if a driver is drunk. Don’t drive when you drink and don’t drink when you drive. It's only water you're permitted to drink as a driver. Drugs can also interfere with the ability to drive. Sometimes drugs prescribed by Doctors contain sedative (i.e. sleep inducing) effects on the driver. Coffee and kola nut are stimulants that tend to increase the alertness of drivers.”

Speaking on “illiteracy and poor driving skills” as one of the causes of road crashes under human factor, the FRSC Chief Route Commander said many drivers lack the necessary driving skills required for avoiding road crashes, some drivers are not properly trained, they do not understand the road signs, they cannot read road instructions and they are completely ignorant.

On overconfidence, he said: “drivers often feel that they are masters of the vehicles and owners of the road. However, we know that tires, brakes and engine, control the motion of the vehicle. Drivers merely operate these controls. Failure to ensure good working condition, as well as observing good driving measures while on the road will result in road traffic crash.”

He also explained that speed thrills, but it kills and that is why organizations are implored to put speed limit device in their vehicles. 

He implored the drivers not to drive with one hand, as the only time the law permits driving with one hand is when you're changing the gear. 

Inyama indentified tiredness, indiscriminate packing, dangerous overtaking, following distance, reliance on metaphysical powers, day dreaming, eyesight, turn signals, stress and other road users as part of the causes of road crashes.

Speaking on mechanic factor, Inyama stated that: “Irregular and poor maintenance of vehicles can lead to crashes which may manifest while the vehicle is in motion. This constitutes about 10% of road crashes. Such irregular maintenance may lead to stoppage of the vehicle, or development of other faults that affect the control of the vehicle, especially when the vehicle is in high speed. These could lead to crashes.” 

In essence, crashes due to mechanical factor have to do with malfunctioning of the vehicle which eventually leads to loss of control and invariably to road traffic crashes.

While delivering his lecture on the topic “Road Signs, Road Markings and Traffic Lights”, a Senior Route Commander, Mr. Emmanuel Ayodapo said road signs and pavement markings serve as tools to guide road users safely through traffic on the road way. 

He further said that troad traffic is made of pedestrians, drivers, animals operating in a road-vehicle-human environment, adding that it is therefore important that pedestrians, riders and drivers alike have a common understanding of the Signs and Pavement Markings in order to reduce conflicts that could arise from sharing the road among all road users.

“Road Signs and Pavement Markings is the user’s language so as to reduce conflicts that could lead to deaths or injury or even traffic congestions, etc. By these, Road Signs and Pavement Markings should trigger a common response in all road users. Fortunately, Road Signs and Pavement Markings are designed in such a way as to aid easy understanding by all – literate and non literate road users,” he said. 

The Acting Director of Administration & Music Director of the church, Pastor Tope Dada delivering lecture on the topic “Human Behaviour in Road Accidents” said the increasing rate of road accidents and carnage on our ever-increasing bad and poorly maintained roads calls for concern and concerted efforts of everyone irrespective of life station and socio-economic status, adding that organizations profit by constantly developing the skills and competencies of their staff and this training program is developed to meet these needs.

He told the drivers that they are responsible for the roadworthiness of their vehicles, urging them to check the oil level regularly, especially before a long journey, to make sure the oil is at the recommended level.

The Cleric stated that tires are vital to a car’s safety, damaged or incorrectly inflated tires could blow out or lose grip on the road surface and cause an incident or accident. 

Pastor Tope Dada implored the drivers to keep the windshield and the windows in their vehicles clean and clear and keep the battery terminals secure, clean and greased.

In his conclusion, he told the drivers that: ‘’Don’t make the mistake of assuming what other drivers are going to do or what you think they should do. Drive safely, think safety and act safely.”

The General Secretary of the church, Pastor Emmanuel E. Mapur who also graced the programme told the drivers that the church places high premium on training and that is why they themselves went through it in year 2021. 

He urged them to take the training very important, saying he was blessed with the lectures.

Pastor Mapur on behalf of the President, Pastor S.O. Oladele appreciated the FRSC officers for honouring the invitation. 

The programme also had in attendance the Special Assistant to the President, Pastor T. D. Asokeji who implored the drivers to put everything they have been taught into practice. Also in attendance was the Director of Publicity, Pastor Ade Alawode and the Internal Auditor of the church, Pastor H.O. Omoniyi. 

One of the drivers, Pastor S.O. Alabi on behalf of other drivers appreciated the church authority for organizing the seminar which according to him, was very impartful.

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