A significant number of Nigeria’s over 160 million see the month of December as one opportunity to reunite with family and friends at Christmas; this they achieve by travelling a long distance on Nigerian deadly highways to their home towns or on holiday.
Ember months are the last four months in a calendar year. The period is usually characterized by high social, economic and political activities across the country. During this period, there are heavy vehicular movements on the roads. This is why most of the road crashes happen at this time of the year. For instance, the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC in 2012 said an average of 11 people was killed daily in road accidents across Nigeria.
This statement is corroborated by a report by the World Health Organization, WHO that Nigeria accounts for the highest fatalities with 33.7 percent per 100,000 population every year on road traffic deaths in selected African countries. The report titled “Road Safety in the WHO African Region”, said more than one in four traffic accident deaths in Africa occur on Nigerian roads. The report also claims that road accident is the third leading cause of death in Nigeria.
This places Nigeria as having the second worst traffic fatalities in the world followed closely by South Africa with 31.9 percent per 100,000 populations, then DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In the same report, Africa was listed as the “least motorized out of the six continents in the World, but suffers the highest rates of road fatalities” of the 37 countries that the survey covered, with death rates well above the average of 18 deaths for 100,000 population. The fatality figures for United States and Britain are 15 and seven percent, respectively.