The Transport Ministry says errors by some road users caused the death of many people and injuries to others involved in road crashes in Ghana within the last nine months.
According to the Ministry, it is overly worried about the figures recorded in 2021 alone.
Research findings by the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, show that over 2,000 deaths and 11,659 injuries were recorded between January to September 2021.
Speaking at a forum to review the Road Traffic Regulations 2013, L. I 2180, the Transport Minister, Kweku Ofori Asiamah stressed that his outfit is working hard with the various stakeholders to help curb road crashes in the country.
“The issue is that, if you look at the number of people who were involved in this crash, they are between the ages of 18 and 50. This means that we are losing our economic staff. The people who are to contribute to the development of this country are dying through unnecessary accidents on our roads. It has also been my mantra that if one person dies through an accident that is preventable, then I think it’s an indictment on all of us. It is not about the numbers, but the errors that we are committing”, the Minister said.
MTTD report findings
Provisional data compiled by the MTTD revealed that the number of commuters killed in road traffic crashes for the first nine months of the year 2021 rose by 16.37% compared to the same period last year.
It increased from 1,827 between January and September 2020 to 2,126 in the first nine months of this year.
The data shows that 1,751 males made up of 193 below the age of 18 and 1,558 who are 18 years and above were killed.
Similarly, 375 females comprising 100 who are 18 years and below as well as 275 aged 18 years and above also died from crashes.
Out of the 2,126 killed in the first nine months of this year, 607 commuters representing 28.5% of all fatalities were as a result of pedestrian knockdowns.
In addition, 1,551 pedestrians were injured from knockdowns.
According to the data, 912 commuters, representing 42.8% of all fatalities were killed by motorcycles.
Similarly, out of the 11,659 persons injured, motorcycles also injured 3,553, which represent 30.4% of all commuters injured during the nine months.
Per the data, commercial vehicles also killed 725 commuters, and this represents 34.1% of total fatalities.
In the same vein, commercial vehicles also injured 5,546 people, which represents 47.5%.
It also revealed that 489 travellers representing 23% were killed by private vehicles.
Similarly, 2,560 commuters representing 21.9% were also injured by private vehicles.
In respect of the 20,225 vehicles involved in crashes, 8,608 (42.5%) were private vehicles, 7,093 (35%) were commercial vehicles, while 4,524 (22.3%) comprised motorcycles.
The worrying thing is that motorcycles that have the lowest occupancy rate and carry fewer passengers killed the highest number of commuters.
The regional breakdown includes Ashanti (423), Accra (341), Eastern (357), Tema (151), Central (151), Bono East (95), Western (91), Volta (84), Upper East (77), Savanna (72), Bono (70), Ahafo (56), Western North (54), Northern (46), Upper West (37), Oti (15) and North East (6).
In respect of regional breakdown of pedestrian knockdowns, Accra leads with 169, Ashanti (130), Eastern (75), Central (60), Tema (43), Western (32), Bono (28), Volta (20), Upper East (16), Western North (10), Northern (7), Ahafo (7), Upper West (5), Bono East (5) while Oti, Savanna and North East did not record any death from pedestrian knockdowns.
The data also shows that Accra (154) tops the regional breakdown of motorcycle deaths, followed by Eastern (146), Ashanti (126), Upper East (61), Bono East (61), Tema (54), Volta (48), Central (42), Bono (42), Ahafo (42), Western North (37), Northern (30), Western (29), Upper West (19), Oti (11), Savanna (5) and North East (5).
For regional breakdown of private vehicles deaths, Accra leads with 122, Ashanti (119), Eastern (69), Tema (47), Central (38), Western (26), Bono East (16), Volta (15), Northern (6), Upper West (6), Upper East (5), Bono (5), Ahafo (5), Western North (5), Savanna (3), Oti (2) and North East (0.)
With regard to the regional breakdown of commercial vehicle deaths, Ashanti recorded 178, Eastern (142), Central (71), Accra (65), Savanna (64), Tema (50), Western (36), Bono (23), Volta (21), Bono East (18), Upper West (12), Western North (12), Upper East (11), Northern (10), Ahafo (9), Oti (2) and North East (1).
In respect of the number of persons injured, it rose by 6.32% to 11,659 this year from the 10,996 recorded last year.
Types of vehicles
Meanwhile, the total number of vehicles involved in crashes also increased from 17,724 last year to 20,225 representing 14.11% rise.
The number of motorcycles that crashed during the nine months also went up by 11.81% from 4,046 in 2020 to 4,524 this year.
The total number of private vehicles involved in accidents also increased from 7,060 last year to 8,608, an increase of 21.93%.
In the same vein, commercial vehicles that crashed witnessed a 7.18% spike from 6,618 last year to 7,095 this year.
Also, the total number of reported crashes rose by 12.61% to 11,858 this year compared to 10,530 last year.
Causes of road accident
• 10 percent of road accidents in Ghana are caused by drunk driving.
• Over-speeding constitutes about 50% of road accidents in the country.
• The first major cause of road accidents in Ghana is poor driving skills.
• Drivers talking on mobile phones while driving have caused several road accidents.
• Gross indiscipline is the cause in most cases amongst Ghanaians.
• Most accidents are caused by broken-down vehicles on our roads.
• It appears in Ghana there is a leeway for drivers to drive on worn/second-hand tires.
• The unworthiness of some cars on our roads also invariably leads to road accidents.
• Over-loading of vehicles beyond their expected gross weights is a known cause of accidents.
• Fatigue driving is a known cause of road accidents by long-distance drivers.
• The poor nature of some of our roads has also often been cited as a cause for some vehicular accidents in the country.
• Disregard for traffic regulations by most drivers also leads to accidents on our roads.
• Non-existent road markings and signs.
Files from The Finder contributed to this story