Young drivers are at a high risk of getting into accidents whether due to inexperience, lack of judgement, poor infrastructure or ignorance of traffic laws. In Nigeria, factors that contribute to crashes and collisions are a combination of bad roads, poor traffic signs and lack of education.
All in all, speeding was the number one cause of fatal roads accidents in 2016 followed by loss of control and dangerous driving. Here are some tips to help motorists drive better and keep everyone safe.
Obey Traffic Rules & Regulations and Drive Defensively
Nigeria is the most populous country on the African continent with more than 60% below 24 years. Of this figure, 2.6 million are enrolled or earned spots at Nigerian universities. This is also the potential number of students that are likely to seek a driver’s permit. As of 2012, new applicants for a driver’s license must be at least 18 and must enrol at an accrediting driving school. This is welcome news for in the old system, anyone could get hold of a driver’s license without even leaving home. This also implies that there are drivers on the road who have no clue of traffic rules and regulations. Hence, it is essential that as a young driver, you follow traffic laws and never assume that all road users know the rules. It is important to stay within the speed limits and avoid tricky manoeuvres such as harsh braking, overtaking without a clean scan of the area or failure to use turn signals.
Take Road Conditions Seriously
It’s common Knowledge that the roads in Nigeria are not the best. They are poorly maintained and degrade easily with just a few heavy downpours. Potholes are rampant and they can be a bit jarring for a new driver to experience. Don’t drive too fast in areas with bad roads and be safe when trying to avoid potholes.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Tire burst, brake and mechanical failure are some of the causes of accidents in the country according to the Road Transport Data of 2017. These are preventable by keeping your car in a good shape. Make sure to service it regularly and before driving, do a visual inspection of tire pressure & depth and mirrors & windshields. Today’s cars are also smarter as they tell you when the next servicing is due or that your engine oil is leaking. In addition, cars can even be tracked remotely and in the future, self-driving vehicles might be the norm on the road.
Drive as Much As You Can and Sign up to Courses
Young drivers will only get experience with more practice, which is why you should not shy away from driving when you get the chance. You can also sign up for defensive driving courses such as the Driving Skills for Life.(DSLF)