You Can Reduce Road Crashes Through Journey Management, Planning

SP Michael Kananura giving traffic updates to the media and public

In respect to police statistics showing a steady increase in the number of people dying on Ugandan roads every year, Hope for Victims for Traffic Accidents (HOVITA) calls upon drivers, and riders to embrace journey management in order to reduce crashes resulting from panic and fatigue.

When you look at the police figures of the 4,806 people who died in road crashes last year, it gives an increase of 5.6% compared to 4,534 people who perished in 2022. The statistics of 2022 show an increase of 8.41% compared to the 4,149 people who died in road crashes in 2021. Even if we don’t go further to give all the figures for 2020, 2019 and 2018, it is clear more Ugandans are perishing on the roads every day, every week, every month and every year.

Be ready for census for proper government planning.

One of the common causes of these crashes has been reckless driving which contributes over 60 percent of all crashes on Ugandan roads. Reckless driving includes but not limited speeding, drifting from one lane to another, weaving in and out of traffic, shoulder driving as well as distractions like speaking on phone or watching a movie or music.

Reckless driving was the cause of 2,689 deaths and 6,882 serious injuries in 2022. One of the ways to avoid falling into reckless drivers which is the biggest contributor to road deaths and injuries is by practicing journey management or planning. Monash University in Australia describes journey management or planning as preparing your mind, body, load and vehicle. This includes setting in place procedures, and protocols to regularly follow. Journey management also involves considering the weather, road conditions and being in control of other road users’ behavior.

According to Monash University, road crashes are sometimes caused by stressful matters, anticipation or mindless contemplation. These can cause mind wandering which has been proven to reduce alertness and result less attentive driving. The solution to this is also journey planning whereby a stressed driver should not be behind a steering wheel but can assign another person to chauffer him or her if it is must that a journey must be taken.

Sometimes crashes are caused by the exaggerated sense of expertise in driving at a particular hours, driving on a given road or driving a given vehicle. When you drive a car for a while, you tend to believe that you know it very well and you can control it at whatever speed or road spot. Some people get used to driving on given roads or streets for a while and tend to think that they are used to them and can control vehicles for which scare. But Monash University journey management tips caution you against being too used to a vehicle, street or driving time. You can know that the road and the vehicle are lethal at all times despite your experience.

Assessing self-steadiness before starting the journey is also another important aspect of journey management. If you feel you tired, kindly do not start the engine. Fatigue can be physical, emotional or cognitive. A fatigued person should assign another person to drive him or her to their destinations. When you insist on driving when feeling tired, chances are that you will dose off while on the road. But when you allow or assign another trusted person to chauffer you, you protect yourself as well as other road users.

Going for leisure activities is one of the vital aspects of life. In most cases leisure activities come with merrymaking which includes boozing. The Uganda traffic Act restricts Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) to less than 0.5mil. This means once you are drunk, save your life and lives of other road users by not going behind the steering wheel. Journey management means you plan early enough that a person will drive you back once you are drunk. Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the major causes of road deaths and injuries worldwide. Alcohol distorts a person’s visibility. With these arguments based on Uganda police traffic statistics and research by Monash University, I believe drivers, riders, pedestrians, and cyclists will learn a thing or two. Our actions contribute to road deaths and injuries but still our actions can reverse the same road crash statistics.

This is why some NGOs such as HOVITA have embarked to a social media campaign encouraging people to always plan for their journeys to avoid panicky or fatigued driving. A number of posts are made on X formerly twitter and the responses are always positive as people confess that they often driving without planning for their journeys.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *