Road accidents have been and will continue to be one of the greatest health hazards. Statistically, it has been shown that the number of death and injuries due to road accidents has been steadily increased within the past five years. In 2002, drivers accounted for 32% of persons killed in Trinidad and Tobago. Fatalities and injuries within the past two years have exceeded other years by a vast number. It has now reached a grand total of 199 in 2002, significantly greater than its total, five or six years ago.
Why must road accidents in Trinidad be considered a norm? There are many causes of road accidents but, personally, I think the most important factor which contributes to road accidents is the irresponsibility of the drivers. Driving an automobile is a privilege, which many people succeed to abuse. Anything that may impair one’s ability to make wise decisions should never be mixed with driving. This is when a driver should practice “social responsibility.”
Drivers must at all times, abide by the safety regulations of the road and most importantly stick to the speed limits or stick to a speed which will allow one to stop within a safe distance. Drivers must, most importantly, take responsibility for themselves at all times. By this I mean, they must know that they should not drive if they feel tired, sick, drunk or upset. They must also ensure that the appropriate eye wear or hearing aid be worn if necessary. Patience is a quality in which drivers must exercise. They must be cautious especially on wet roads, pedestrian crossings and junctions.
Typical examples of drivers practicing unsafe habits are, drivers who cut people off in traffic or attempt to run out the amber traffic light. Another example of this occurs when drivers don’t give the right of way to anyone especially when coming when coming onto highways or going around a round-about or even by giving the pedestrians the right of way at a pedestrian crossing. All of these...