How Personal Vehicular Accidents can be Avoided

 March 3,  2021

Message to Tiger Woods

#Tiger Woods

Posted by Ambassador T. Brikins

I was in my early twenties. I went partying with my boy friends. We drank many bottles of beer mixed with a local Nigerian dry gin known variously  as ‘illicit gin’ ‘ogogoro’, ‘akpetachi’, ‘number 1’, ‘ push- me- I- push- you’,’sapele water’.

A seller in  her ogogoro store

Time to go home. I climbed into the Honda Civic car driver's seat with a mountainous self confidence inflated by the mixed spirits & with no strapped seat belt on &  drove off. I tuned the radio & the number one selling music @ the time "sincro system” by maestro king Sunny Ade consumed the interior of the car. We sang along, clapping our palms along & stomping our feet on the car floor along. Well, did we sing along or shouted along? Our babel of inharmonious music expressing our high spirited  state. But not for long.


At the popular Ring Road also known as king's square in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, I suddenly smashed   on the gas pedal. The car tyres screeched pushing every one of us forward. Then, a loud crash of metal halted our forward motion to a standstill. Broken windscreen splinters showered like diamond grains on our bodies. We had rammed into the boot of a rickety cab in front of us. The dent on the cab shrunk the boot halfway of its normal size.

We saw the traffic police man on duty walking towards us to do his constitutional duty.

To our astonishment, the cabbie who had alighted to survey the damage done to his cab   ran back  into his cab & sped away after sighting  the   traffic official walking towards the accident  location.  Apparently, he didn’t have the required vehicular particulars.

What really happened beyond the physical? I had often wondered why alcohol is also called spirit. Now among other things I guess it is so called because it performs its duties in the unseen realm. However Proverbs 23:29-35 (KJV) explains.

29. ‘’Who has woe?

Who has sorrow?

Who has strife?

Who has complaining?

Who has wounds without cause?

Who has redness and dimness of eyes?

30. Those who tarry long at the wine; those who go to seek and try mixed wine.

31. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in wine glass, when it goes down smoothly.

32. At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder.

33. [Under the influence of wine] your eyes will behold strange things [and loose women], and your mind will utter  things turned the wrong way [untrue, incorrect, and petulant].

34. Yes, you will be [as unsteady] as he who lies down in the midst of the sea, and as [open to thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast].

35. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not; when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

Our despising of the above wisdom had procured for me my first car accident experience. There were two other ghastly ones before I accepted Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Saviour & Lord & drove dominion over all accidents and stopped  seeking  wine again.

 According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, ‘’Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driving. This is one death every 50 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion’’.

Thank God, there are effective measures that can help prevent injuries and deaths from alcohol-impaired driving.

Tiger Wood's Accidented SUV

On February 23, 2021, Tiger Woods, the greatest golfer of all times and one of the most famous athletes of all times .

He is tied for first in PGA Tour wins, ranks second in men's major championships, and holds numerous golf records. Woods is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time and one of the most famous athletes of all time. He has been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Tiger Woods suffered ‘multiple open fractures' in a serious car crash in California. This time, it was unlike in 2017 when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence when he was found asleep at the wheel of his car. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving.

He had five prescription drugs in his system as he recovered from the spinal fusion surgery that ultimately gave him a second golfing career.

This time Tiger Woods’ involvement   in a serious car crash in California on Tuesday and hospitalized. Hospital chief medical officer reports of “Open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the right tibia and fibula bones were stabilised"; Woods is said to be “awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room", a statement on the 15-time major champion's Twitter page said.

 Woods was reported to be conscious and responsive when he was removed from the wreckage by the local fire department early on Tuesday morning before he was rushed to hospital in a "serious condition".

Woods seriously injured, confirmed details:

The accident happened shortly after 7am Pacific Time

Woods was driving, no passengers, no other vehicles involved

He lost control of his car "at high speed", the vehicle rolled several times and sustained "extensive damage"

He was conscious and able to communicate when emergency services arrived at the scene

Firefighters pulled Woods from the overturned car after smashing the windscreen with an axe

Woods was taken to Harbour-UCLA Medical Centre for surgery. He suffered significant orthopaedic injuries to his "right lower extremity"

LA County Sheriff said there was no obvious sign that Woods was impaired by drugs or alcohol.

In another  statement posted on Woods' Twitter, Anish Mahajan, the chief medical officer and interim CEO of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center said: "Open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the right tibia and fibula bones were stabilised by inserting a rod into the tibia. Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilised with a combination of screws and pins

"Trauma to the muscle and soft tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling."

The LA County Sheriff also stated there was "no obvious sign" that Woods was impaired by drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the accident, although this could not be confirmed until tests were performed by investigators at the hospital.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods' car was travelling at a "relatively greater speed than normal" descending down a hill in an area notorious for a "high frequency of accidents." There were apparently no skid marks on the road, and it was assumed that the car hit the barrier that separated the carriageways, colliding with a curb and a tree before coming to rest.

Approximately 1.35 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes.

The2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set an ambitious target of halving the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020.

Road traffic crashes cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product.

More than half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.

93% of the world's fatalities on the roads occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately 60% of the world's vehicles.

Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years.

Every year the lives of approximately 1.35 million people are cut short as a result of a road traffic crash. Between 20 and 50 million more people suffer non-fatal injuries, with many incurring a disability as a result of their injury.

Road traffic injuries cause considerable economic losses to individuals, their families, and to nations as a whole. These losses arise from the cost of treatment as well as lost productivity for those killed or disabled by their injuries, and for family members who need to take time off work or school to care for the injured. Road traffic crashes cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product.


Who is at risk?

Socioeconomic status

More than 90% of road traffic deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Road traffic injury death rates are highest in the African region. Even within high-income countries, people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to be involved in road traffic crashes.


Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years.


From a young age, males are more likely to be involved in road traffic crashes than females. About three quarters (73%) of all road traffic deaths occur among young males under the age of 25 years who are almost 3 times as likely to be killed in a road traffic crash as young females.

 Risk factors

The Safe System approach: accommodating human error

The Safe System approach to road safety aims to ensure a safe transport system for all road users. Such an approach takes into account people’s vulnerability to serious injuries in road traffic crashes and recognizes that the system should be designed to be forgiving of human error. The cornerstones of this approach are safe roads and roadsides, safe speeds, safe vehicles, and safe road users, all of which must be addressed in order to eliminate fatal crashes and reduce serious injuries.


An increase in average speed is directly related both to the likelihood of a crash occurring and to the severity of the consequences of the crash. For example, every 1% increase in mean speed produces a 4% increase in the fatal crash risk and a 3% increase

in the serious crash risk. The death risk for pedestrians hit by car fronts rises rapidly (4.5 times from 50 km/h to 65 km/h)...

In car-to-car side impacts the fatality risk for car occupants is 85% at 65 km/h.

Driving under the influence of alcohol and other psychoactive substances

Driving under the influence of alcohol and any psychoactive substance or drug increases the risk of a crash that results in death or serious injuries.

In the case of drink-driving, the risk of a road traffic crash starts at low levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and increases significantly when the driver's BAC is ≥ 0.04 g/dl.

In the case of drug-driving, the risk of incurring a road traffic crash is increased to differing degrees depending on the psychoactive drug used. For example, the risk of a fatal crash occurring among those who have used amphetamines is about 5 times the risk of someone who hasn't.

Nonuse of , seat-belts, and child restraints

Wearing a seat-belt like Tiger Woods did reduces the risk of death among drivers and front seat occupants by 45 - 50%, and the risk of death and serious injuries among rear seat occupants by 25%.

The use of child restraints can lead to a 60% reduction in deaths.

Distracted driving

There are many types of distractions that can lead to impaired driving. The distraction caused by mobile phones is a growing concern for road safety.

Drivers using mobile phones are approximately 4 times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers not using a mobile phone. Using a phone while driving slows reaction times (notably braking reaction time, but also reaction to traffic signals), and makes it difficult to keep in the correct lane, and to keep the correct following distances.

Hands-free phones are not much safer than hand-held phone sets, and texting considerably increases the risk of a crash.

Unsafe road infrastructure

The design of roads can have a considerable impact on their safety. Ideally, roads should be designed keeping in mind the safety of all road users. This would mean making sure that there are adequate facilities for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Measures such as footpaths, cycling lanes, safe crossing points, and other traffic calming measures can be critical to reducing the risk of injury among these road users. 

Unsafe vehicles

Safe vehicles play a critical role in averting crashes and reducing the likelihood of serious injury. There are a number of UN regulations on vehicle safety that, if applied to countries’ manufacturing and production standards, would potentially save many lives. These include requiring vehicle manufacturers to meet front and side impact regulations, to include electronic stability control (to prevent over-steering) and to ensure airbags and seat-belts are fitted in all vehicles. Without these basic standards the risk of traffic injuries – both to those in the vehicle and those out of it – is considerably increased.

Inadequate post-crash care

Delays in detecting and providing care for those involved in a road traffic crash increase the severity of injuries. Care of injuries after a crash has occurred is extremely time-sensitive: delays of minutes can make the difference between life and death. Improving post-crash care requires ensuring access to timely prehospital care, and improving the quality of both prehospital and hospital care, such as through specialist training programmes. 

Inadequate law enforcement of traffic laws

If traffic laws on drink-driving, seat-belt wearing, speed limits, helmets, and child restraints are not enforced, they cannot bring about the expected reduction in road traffic fatalities and injuries related to specific behaviours. Thus, if traffic laws are not enforced or are perceived as not being enforced it is likely they will not be complied with and therefore will have very little chance of influencing behaviour.

Effective enforcement includes establishing, regularly updating, and enforcing laws at the national, municipal, and local levels that address the above mentioned risk factors. It includes also the definition of appropriate penalties.

What can be done to address road traffic injuries

Road traffic injuries can be prevented. Governments need to take action to address road safety in a holistic manner. This requires involvement from multiple sectors such as transport, police, health, education, and actions that address the safety of roads, vehicles, and road users.

Effective interventions include designing safer infrastructure and incorporating road safety features into land-use and transport planning, improving the safety features of vehicles, improving post-crash care for victims of road crashes, setting and enforcing laws relating to key risks, and raising public awareness.

WHO response

Providing technical support to countries

WHO works across the spectrum in countries, in a multispectral manner and in partnership with national and international stakeholders from a variety of sectors. Its objective is to support Member States in road safety policy planning, implementation and evaluation.

In addition, WHO collaborates with partners to provide technical support to countries. For example, WHO is currently collaborating with the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) 2015-2019 to reduce fatalities and injuries from road traffic crashes in targeted low- and middle-income countries and cities.

In 2017, WHO released Save LIVES a road safety technical package which synthesizes evidence-based measures that can significantly reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries. Save LIVES: a road safety technical package focuses on Speed management, Leadership, Infrastructure design and improvement, Vehicle safety standards, Enforcement of traffic laws and post-crash Survival.

The package prioritizes 6 strategies and 22 interventions addressing the risk factors highlighted above, and provides guidance to Member States on their implementation to save lives and meet the road safety target of halving the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020.

Save LIVES: a road safety technical package

Coordinating the Decade of Action for Road Safety

WHO is the lead agency – in collaboration with the United Nations regional commissions – for road safety within the UN system. WHO chairs the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration and serves as the secretariat for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011– 2020. Proclaimed through a UN General Assembly resolution in 2010, the Decade of Action was launched in May 2011 in over 110 countries, with the aim of saving millions of lives by implementing the Global Plan for the Decade of Acton.

WHO also plays a key role in guiding global efforts by continuing to advocate for road safety at the highest political levels; compiling and disseminating good practices in prevention, data collection and trauma care; sharing information with the public on risks and how to reduce these risks; and drawing attention to the need for increased funding.

Monitoring progress through global status reports

WHO's Global status report on road safety 2018 presents information on road safety from 175 countries. This report is the fourth in a series and provides an overview of the road safety situation globally. The global status reports are the official tool for monitoring the Decade of Action.

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