Vehicle Seats and Fatality Rate in Nigeria
It is a truism that the rate of road traffic accidents is very high in Nigeria according to a recent global ranking but the rate of road accident fatalities could be drastically reduced if the vehicles involved on the accidents are road – worthy.
In this article, I want to focus the searchlight on Commercial vehicle seats. The seats of most Commercial buses plying the intra – State and inter – State roads have been reconstructed and turned to death traps.
Sometimes ago, I witnessed an accident on Isawo road in Ikorodu where two Commercial vehicles had head – on collision. Though none of the vehicles somersaulted and the impact on the 2 vehicles was minimal but most of the passengers inone of the vehicles sustained injuries because all the seats in the vehicle dislocated from the basement of the bus and wounded the passengers who were either wedged by the iron of the seats or fell on other passengers. The injuries would have been averted if the seats were firmly fixed in this incidence.
In a bid to create room for 4 passengers per row in the bus, the Commercial bus Drivers often remove the original seats which were meant for just 3 passengers per row to fix their local seats. In most cases, the leg rooms are so closed that many passengers ended up having pains on their legs in a journey of just about 1 or 2 hours.
Apart from the fact that it is an offence for the Commercial bus Drivers to carry 4 passengers in a row, it is also inconvenient and dangerous to the passengers whether or not the vehicles are involved in accidents.
Some years back, the Lagos State Government took a strong action against the reconstruction of bus seats but the action died down within a short period.
It is now more expedient than ever before for the Vehicle Inspection Officers nationwide to commence action against the use of reconstructed seats and improperly fixed seats to save the passengers from avoidable hazards on the roads.
The rubbers, foams and leathers used to cover the iron have torn off thereby exposing the dangerous iron which have torn many clothes and many flesh.
The body of some of the Commercial buses have seriously degenerated thereby becoming a moving casket. It takes just a little impact in an accident for such buses to scatter on the road thereby leaving the passengers unprotected from injuries and death.
I hereby plead with the relevant Authorities and the Driver Unions to keep rickety and dangerously reconstructed vehicles away from the roads to prevent avoidable injuries and deaths. Vehicle standards is as important as Driver Standards in the war against road accidents and fatalities.
Source: The Nation Nigeria