Barbadian Pedestrians Upping Road Traffic Accident Rate
Barbados officially holds the 161st place in the world rankings of road safety in terms of traffic accidents, according to data compiled by the World Health Organization. Barbados Sergeant Seibert Johnson of the Royal Barbados Police Force recently declared his worry over the number of deadly accidents, many of which involved pedestrians. Johnson noted that 27 of the deaths suffered this year were of pedestrians. Part of the problem, he said, is that people on buses and other forms of public transport often step down from the vehicle onto the road, without looking well at circulating traffic. He noted that pedestrian lanes are not necessarily safe, because pedestrians could dash across them quickly, not giving oncoming cars time to brake. He recommended that pedestrians raise their hand and ensure that drivers are aware of their presence before crossing.
Numbers are Rising
As noted in the Barbados Advocate, the number of road fatalities has increased as compared to last year. For instance, in the total number of deaths in 2018 (so far) is only one less than the total number recorded last year. The United Nations deemed the years 2011-2020 The Decade of Action for Road Safety, yet greater efforts need to be made if the UN’s goal of cutting down road deaths by half, is to be achieved. The statistics indicate that pedestrians aren’t the only ones to blame. For instance, drivers who speed can fail to brake in time when they see pedestrians or other cars, and the result can be serious accidents and injuries.
The Impact of Road Accidents on Insurance
Driving safely makes sense from an economic perspective as well as a personal one. Drivers enjoy protection through road coverage, but Barbadians wishing to keep their vehicle premiums low need a clean record as well. Insurance companies in Barbados have already expressed their concern about the ‘trickle down effect’ that increased accident numbers can cause – i.e. premiums for all drivers may rise because of the rise in traffic and injury rates. The gravity of many accidents also mean that patients may experience a variety of traumas which can force them to rely on the NIS, thus upping the costs faced by the scheme.
Road Safety Week Begins on November 18
Road Safety Week will start this November 18. Its motto is Designate One, which encourages groups of friends going out to designate one driver who will skip alcohol. This is just one of many ways that the accident rate can be reduced. Others include refraining from using mobile phones while driving, and sticking to the speeding limit. This special week is motivated by the general rise of vehicular accidents on Barbadian roads.
In addition to expecting drivers and pedestrians to exercise greater safety on roads, research also needs to be carried out to find out the reasons for the worrisome accident statistics. As noted in Nation News, this would involve the Royal Barbados Police joining forces with the General Insurance Association of Barbados and other organisations, including the Barbados Road Safety Association. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital would also be able to provide important information regarding what types of accidents result from accidents. This information, when shared with the general public, would help drivers comprehend the possible consequences of reckless driving.