Just one bus crash can permanently halt dreams, destroy lives and wipe out one or more generations.
Remember your early days in school when your teacher taught you road signs and safety measures? It happens that till date majority of the road accidents we hear about were caused because those little things we were taught were taken for granted.
Each time you hear there was a bus crash somewhere, there a list of things we want to know- where it happened, who and who were involved, the state of the road and the driver as well.
Everyone who hears of the bus crash wants to know if it was a driver error, auto error or if it was circumstantial and unavoidable.
Below are the most common causes of bus accidents:
1. No/Improper Driving Lessons:
In some developed countries driving classes are taken very seriously. As part of the training, an aptitude test is taken prior to the practical test. The reason for this is to ensure that the potential driver understands that the slightest of mistakes would cost lives- his or someone else’s.
Unfortunately there are drivers who ply the roads with fake licenses to drive.
This is commonly seen in societies where there is an ample show of lawlessness and perhaps less concern for human lives.
Sometimes the classes are offered by professionally unqualified persons and in a rushed period of time. This contributes in wreaking havoc on our roads.
2. Sheer Negligence
This is where we find overly assuming drivers. Behind your own wheels you may be sane. But where you do not put the car before or after you into consideration, there will be a breach in the expected road communication.
Of what use is the driving classes if you insist on driving “your own way”. For instance, we all have seen a couple of reckless acts like overtaking from the right and failure to use the indicators when turning from a straight road.
They may seen infinitesimal but have definitely caused more than one costly bus crash.
This could actually be the commonest reason for any bus crash you come across. Most buses on the road are either for commercial or corporate purposes.
With the commercial ones taking a greater number, there is always a certain rush to complete a targeted number of trips. Since the transportation system in most Sub-Saharan African countries are privately owned, transport company owners and independent bus owners work with targets.
The greater the trips, the higher the commission for the drivers. This makes most desperate drivers over-speed.
As a habit or just for intention of beating time, some private car owners are guilty as well. They fail to yield to pedestrians while speeding.
Did you know that good roads can actually inspire over-speeding?
4. Disregard for Road/Traffic Signs
The traffic lights and road signs are all there to ensure safety on the roads; not for fancy.
Imagine being on the road very late at night or in the early hours of the morning and the traffic lights turns red, would you stop?
It may or may not be debatable for security reasons but the dangerous thought though is to assume you are the only one on the road. You may bump into another like-minded driver like yourself. And there… an unprecedented accident.
5. Poor Road Networks
This is where the government comes in big time. While philanthropist can take up the challenge of fixing up the roads, it is a basic demand that the government must give it priority.
And what makes a road bad? Potholes? Not just pot holes. The use of substandard materials for road construction, poor spacing of the roads especially at sharp bends which are sometimes made for aesthetic reasons.
A couple of months ago, BBC pointed out that SA’s road network is playing a major part in the high rate of road accidents.
Some psychological states and medication automatically disqualifies a driver from driving. These conditions either mess with your head or your nerves, as such makes one a road hazard.
It is advised that drivers who as much as feel sleepy or fagged out should keep away from the steering. Same is the case for drunkenness, substance abuse, sensitive medication and unstable mental state.
See Also: Kenya Goes To Twitter To Fix Her Roads
7. Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Just like the human body needs maintenance, so also is it necessary for the machines and devices that serve us in this tech-age.
It is not okay for any vehicle on the road to be with no side mirrors, worn out tyres, broken taillight, deficient steering wheel amongst other car malfunctions. The vehicle must be in a sound condition.
If it is a school/corporate bus crash, then the institutions who own them will have a chunky part of the blame.
8. Low Quality Products:
It will be worth it if one bus crash was averted by going for quality car products. Financial constraints or plan nonchalance can make car owners and drivers go for evidently substandard products. Some other times it could be the fault of dubious business persons who deceive naive customers.
9. Dangerous Trends
Taking calls and engaging in other activities while driving may appear trendy but nonetheless safe.
These days you find people making videos for the social media while driving. That’s completely wrong. Why? Your eye should be on the road. How about getting someone to do the video for you while you drive? Or stop the car, make your video and then drive on.
10. Miscellaneous Causes
This may actually include dangerous behaviors from both passengers of the vehicle and the pedestrians.
If the passengers of the car are well acquainted with the sensitivity of being behind the wheels, the driver has an added advantage. They would not do anything that will make him loose concentration.
Pedestrians who observe road signs and are calculated in crossing roads help reduce road tragedies.