Road Accidents In Kenya – Stats, Types & Causes Of Car Accident

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road accident kenya statistics, types and causes

Road Accident Fatality Statistics In kenya 2017

Road accidents in Kenya are a source of concern both locally and worldwide. The establishment of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) was motivated partly by the need to curb the high number of deaths on Kenyan Roads.

In addition to the personal costs that each person pays whenever an accident occurs, which sometime include loss of life, there is a high economic cost associated with road accidents.

The insurance sector bears the brunt of these losses since its goal is to provide insurance coverage for vehicles.  The following are the fatality rates resulting from road accidents in Kenya based on 2017 statistics, from January to end of October 2017.

road accident car crash kenya Pedestrians (39% of Fatalities)

Most road accident in Kenya involves pedestrians and they constitute the largest number of fatalities. Accidents that involve pedestrians usually occur as they try to cross roads, both in designated and in non-designated places. In some cases, pedestrians fall victim when vehicles veer off the road and plough into them. Some of the accidents situations occur when vehicle trying to avoid accidents with other vehicles ends up hitting pedestrians.

road accident car crash kenya Passengers (22% of Fatalities)

Second to pedestrians, passengers constitute the highest number of fatalities on Kenyan roads. The deaths can be attributed to the higher representation of passengers carried by vehicles as compared to drivers. In the first ten months of 2017, passenger deaths constitute 22% of all fatalities on Kenyan roads. One vehicle can have as many as 50 passengers and in the event of an accident, these passengers would constitute the highest number of fatalities.

Passenger fatalities are usually related to over speeding, failure to use safety belts, and poor design of buses. The country does not have a strong tradition of building passenger compartments for public transport vehicles can withstand accidents. The top of many buses flatten whenever they roll or rest on their tops in the event of accidents.

road accident car crash kenya Drivers (12% of Fatalities)

Despite the fact that drivers are a key cause of road accidents, they are not spared from fatal consequences in the event of accidents. In the first ten months of 2017, Drivers have constituted 12% of all fatalities on Kenyan roads. Driver deaths may occur under several circumstances. One of them is when there is a head on collision where two moving cars collide when coming from opposing directions. These accidents tend to be serious because of the resulting speed of collision coupled with factors like failure to wear seat belts.

In some cases, the driver may hit roadside infrastructure as a result of veering off the road. Drivers are also killed in T-bone crashes where a vehicle, usually at an intersection, hit the side of another vehicle. These lateral hits can be fatal depending on the safety features of the car in question. Many drivers are also killed when vehicles roll especially after losing control when being driven at high speed.

road accident car crash kenya \Motorbikes (18% of Fatalities)

In the last decade, motorbikes have become a very popular means of passenger transport in Kenya. Their popularity comes from their speed, flexibility and versatility. That said, they have come with a new subculture that is not very conscious of safety on Kenyan roads.

Their riders do not follow traffic laws, do not always wear helmets, and in addition, most drivers seem to ignore them on the road. As such motorbikes are quite dangerous to ride in Kenya. In the period reviewed, motorcycle riders have constituted 18% of the fatalities on Kenyan roads.

road accident car crash kenya Pillion Passengers (7% of Fatalities)

Pillion passengers refer to passengers who are riding on the pillion, which is usually the second seat of the motorcycle or bicycle behind the rider. Pillion passengers are particularly vulnerable to accidents since they do not usually have sufficient warning to take evasive action when an accident is about to occur.

At the same time, pillion passengers are just as exposed as motorbike riders since motorbikes lack protective surfaces. In many cases, a motorbike rider will have access to safety equipment such as thick gloves, riding jackets, helmets, shoulder pads, knee and elbow pads and appropriate shoes.

The law requires Pillion passengers to wear helmets but is silent on the other safety gear, a requirement that is not fully adhered to. The result is that in 2017, 22% of the fatality rates on Kenyan roads have been constituted by pillion passengers.

road accident car crash kenya Pedal Cyclist (2% of Fatalities)

Bicycles are a popular means of transport in Kenya, especially in rural areas. They are widely used for transport of goods and passengers, especially in counties to the west of the country. In urban areas, an increasing number of people are taking on recreational riding as a pastime. In general the overall number of cyclists is increasing in Kenyan roads.

The key concern in Kenyan is that most Kenyan roads do not have dedicated lanes for cyclists, making pedal cyclists very vulnerable to accidents involving motor vehicles. In the first 10 months of 2017, pedal cyclists account for 3% of fatalities countrywide.

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Types Of Car Crashes


Car Crash Types And their Fatality Potential

The type of collision a car is involved in usually determines the level of fatalities. There are four main types of collisions a car may be involved in depending on whether it involves the front, rear or side of a car. Here is a comparison of collision types and their level of seriousness.

road accident car crash kenya Head-on Collisions (Front to Front)

Head-on collisions are the most dangerous types of accidents that any vehicles may be involved in. When two cars travelling at 100KpH in opposite directions hit one another, it would be as if each car hit a stationary object at 200 KpH! In most cases, head-on-collisions in highways result in fatalities caused by the impact. Terminal head injuries are common when drivers and front passengers hit the windshield.

In many cases, debris from the other car, and objects flying from the rear of the car also lead to fatalities. Passengers in rear seats that are not wearing seatbelts are usually also projected to the front at high speeds. Depending on what breaks their flight, they can be fatally injured. Compound injuries may result if one of both cars spin and roll as a result of the head on collision.

road accident car crash kenya T-Bone Crash (Front to Side)

In intersections and T-junctions, T-Bone crashes occur. In this case, a car rams to the side of a stationary or slow moving vehicle. T-Bone crashes can also involve two cars travelling at high speed from perpendicular directions at an intersection. Most common injuries in this case include lateral head injuries for people inside the car that’s hit on the side, and broken necks.

If the car does not have side airbags, the injuries are usually fatal. The ramming car usually suffers front end damage and its passengers and drivers can also suffer from head and neck injuries. If the ramming car hits the rear of the crossing car, the result is a pit maneuver, which usually causes the ramming car to spin. This may result in additional injuries and may also lead to a compound accident involving more vehicles.

road accident car crash kenya Front-to-Rear Collision

Front-to-Rear collisions are more common than the first two but are usually not very serious unless they occur at high speeds. Many of them usually occur when the car in from suddenly brakes, leaving no time for the car behind it to stop. I

n this case, the most common injury for anyone in the front car is neck whiplash, which is a soft tissue injury caused by the whipping of the neck during the collision. Car damage is usually worst on the hitting car.

Damage to front headlamps, radiators, and the bonnet are common. Usually the driver in the rear hitting car is held responsible because he is expected to leave sufficient room between his car and the front car for braking.

road accident car crash kenya Grazing (Side-to-Side Collision)

Side-to-side collisions also occur on the roads. This occurs when two cars traveling in the same direction make contact along their sides. This can occur when one car attempts to overtake unsuccessfully and is then forced to squeeze itself toward the car it is overtaking.

Side-to-side collisions may not be very dangerous on their own, but can cause either car to lose control, with whatever happening thereafter determining the seriousness of the collision. If one car loses control, it may veer off the road, or may hit an oncoming car, brake suddenly and be involved in a rear-end collision, among other possibilities. This is what makes side-to-side collisions dangerous.

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Common Causes of car accidents

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Kenya

Do you ever wonder what constitutes the leading causes of road accidents in Kenya? Accidents on Kenyan roads have continued to be a cause of concern for the country and remain the subject of interest to government and citizens alike. Here is a quick rundown of some of the often reported causes of road accidents.

road accident car crash kenya Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is one of the much cited causes of the road accidents in Kenya. Drunk drivers are considered one of the most serious risks to road safety, and hence the huge penalties associated conviction in a court for drunk driving. Intoxicated drivers have been blamed for much loss in the form of damage to property and maiming of victims.

The problem is particularly noteworthy in urban areas, where some people opt to stop at drinking spots on their way home. Since its difficult to drive at high speeds within urban limits, most accidents usually don’t end with fatalities. However, they still cause a lot of damage, costing millions of shilling annually.

road accident car crash kenya Unroadworthy Vehicles

The second cause of accidents on Kenyan roads is the use of unroadworthy vehicles. Unroadworthy vehicles are usually poorly maintained and hence have problems with their critical systems. These vehicles may not be able to accelerate or brake properly, and hence are highly likely to end up in accidents on the road. Some of these vehicles also break down along busy roads. They end up creating an obstruction to oncoming motorists.

Other ways in which unroadworthy vehicles become a danger to other road users include emitting dense smoke which leads to poor visibility, failure to keep up with ambient traffic speeds, leading to long tails and forcing other motorists to engage in overtaking maneuvers. Stricter implementation of vehicle inspection procedures can help reduce the number of unroadworthy vehicles on Kenyan roads.

road accident car crash kenya Careless Driving

Careless drivers and riders get a fair share of blame when it comes to accidents on Kenyan roads. Careless driving may include over speeding, dangerous overtaking, driving while using a mobile phone, or simply ignoring traffic signs such as speed limits. Riders, especially those operating motorbikes for public transport are especially notorious when it comes to the observation of traffic rules in the country. Careless driving and riding continues to be problem for the country.

road accident car crash kenya Failure to Use Safety Equipment

Many injuries that result from road accidents can be prevented by the appropriate use of safety equipment in vehicles. The most basic form of protection passengers in any vehicle have is a safety belt. Safety belts are known to save lives in the event of collisions by absorbing the impact and keeping passengers stationary in the event of a collision.

When an accident occurs and the vehicle users are not using safety belts, it is common for them to be tossed around, and usually more serious injuries result. On the part of riders and pillion passengers, the use of helmets is the minimum safety requirement. In this case, helmet helps riders and pillion passengers to avoid or minimize head injuries, which are usually the most critical injuries suffered during motorbike accidents.

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