Importance of Road Safety
Everyday dozens of lives are lost in our roads as a result of careless driving, over speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or even using mobile phones while driving or crossing the road by pedestrians. All these causes of fatal accidents on our roads could be prevented through embracing or adhering to road safety measures. Road safety focuses on safety for all road users be it pedestrians, animal-drawn vehicles, two-wheel travellers and multi-wheel transport. Road safety is beneficial in many ways as it reduces the number of lives claimed by fatal accidents, reduces the costs arising from accidents and also third party traumas.
By observing road safety measures by every road user, drivers and road users can save millions of lives that could be lost through fatal road accidents. According to National Safety Council (2017), approximately forty thousand lives were lost in American roads in the year 2016 representing a 6% increase from the previous year. Forty thousand is a significant number of lives to be lost due to road accidents that could be prevented through adherence to road safety. Most of the road accidents accounting for the forty thousand lives lost were as a result of drivers speeding and texting while driving. This is a clear indication that the drivers do not observe road safety measures and if they had, then these lives would have been saved. Also, most of the road accidents involve pedestrians being knocked by speeding vehicles on the highways. Pedestrians are to blame for such accidents as they do not observe safety rules that guide them on where to cross the roads or the lanes to uses while walking by the road. When road safety measures are followed carefully, most lives would be saved.
Also, road safety is important because it reduces a couple of costs that are incurred when accidents occur on our roads. There are numerous financial losses that accrue from a road accident. There are physical damages on the road infrastructure and the roadside properties. Towing and recovery costs are incurred. When a road accident occurs, there are costs incurred on traffic police who attend the scene to clear the crashed vehicles and the bodies of the deceased victims. Also the emergency departments incur costs while attending to the victims and offering first aid. Costs could also arise from medical bills and ambulance hiring. Aside, if a major crash occurred on a highway, the road would be blocked for a couple of minutes to hours as the scene is being cleared. Delays will occur and businesses experience loses. Losses in time and money occur automatically. Road safety would prevent all these costs as it would minimize the occurrence of the accidents in the first place.
Moreover, road safety prevents loss of lives which would prevent traumas suffered by the family members, relatives and friends. Family members have to come to terms with unexpected loss which triggers emotional suffering. Family members will be pondered by many unanswered questions; how did this accident occur? Could it have been prevented? Did the deceased contribute to the accident? These questions are a clear indication of the traumatic experience that family members, relatives and friends undergo when a road accident maims their loved one. Furthermore, a road accident will claim a bread winner for a family and the dependents will lose their source of income, a further trauma. Road accidents leave orphans behind who may suffer for the rest of their lives. All these traumatic and long lasting emotional impacts on the family members and friends to the deceased could be prevented by simple road safety measures.
The importance of the road safety cannot be underestimated as they can be much significant in minimizing loss of lives due to accidents, reducing the costs arising from accident occurrences and preventing the traumatic experiences by the family members and friends to those whose lives have been claimed by road accidents.