By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
Online classified site OLX.com.ng, has partnered the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to share safety tips with road users this festive season.
The firm, in a statement, said as the year is gradually winding to a close, Nigerians around the country are moving around to catch their funs with their families and loved ones during the Yuletide season.
It said the long distances travelled at this time with the large number of vehicles on the highway can easily result into accidents caused by fatigue, distractions, overspeeding, faulty cars so extra precaution needs to be taken.
OLX, partnership with FRSC, organised a forum to educate all travellers to avoid road mishaps during and after the Yuletide.
.Lagos Sector Commander, FRSC, Hygenius Omejei, advised road users to adhere strictly to afety rules.
He gave safety tips which include ensuring that vehicles are roadworthy. “Take your car to the mechanic for a thorough inspection to run a detailed diagnostic check which should include the tyres to ensure the car is capable of taking the long journey ahead,” he said.
Another tip is defensive driving. Omejei advised drivers to be extremely careful and alert whilst driving to avoid possible collisions caused by bad drivers, drunk drivers, and poor weather (harmattan fog). “It is important that you don’t make assumptions about the other drivers intentions. If you expect drivers in parked vehicles to remain parked at all times, always yield at intersections, or remain in one lane at all times, etc., you risk being caught off guard when drivers do not do what’s expected,” he said.
On overspeeding, he warned: “Keeping to the recommended speed limit on the express road and highway is extremely important. The speed limit for private cars on the express road is 100km/hr and 80km/hr on the highway. The speed limit should be strictly adhered too because overspeeding is the number one cause of deadly accidents for road users.”
Drowsy driving is suspected to be the primary cause in more than 20 per cent of road fatalities. Drivers are advised to have someone else in the car who can take over the wheels when feeling drowsy or parkin a safe place (like an eatery or petrol station) to get some rest. He warned that any form of alcohol is forbidden while driving as it can impair one’s judgement on the road.
Omejei urged drivers to eschew distracted driving, saying it is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating, drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of driving.
“Texting is the most dangerous distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
“Federal Road Safety Officials perform routine checks on the highways to ensure road users drive safely.
“Road users should ensure that their documents are all updated. These are the documents and items FRSC officials are authorised to check. These are Valid Driver’s License; Valid Vehicle License, Car Insurance and Roadworthiness certificate; Spare Tyre, Fire Extinguisher, Caution Sign and Wheel Spanner
“However, if you feel harassed by the Road Safety Official, call The Road Safety toll free line 122 or send an email to [email protected],” Omejei said.
He advised motorists to upgrade their cars on the OLX platform, adding that if “ you feel your car is not travel compliant, sell your old car on the OLX site and search for great deals on the site.