Analysis of road traffic accidents and implications for road safety: Evidence from a public transportation system in a non-Western Setting

Keywords: road traffic accident, traffic psychology, transportation risk


Road traffic accident is a global public health concern that claims both lives and properties
running into millions of dollars each year. However, within Africa, there are sparse studies
that have examined the distribution of road crashes by type of road traffic accident, how
the various types of accidents are related and their relations to risk-taking behaviour. This
study sought to fill in those empirical gaps. A sample of 226 commercial vehicle drivers
in Ghana were drawn for this study. Pearson correlation coefficient and multiple standard
regression were used to analyse the data. Results showed that sideswipes when moving
in the same or opposite directions, head/rear end collision and accident with animals
were the commonest road traffic accidents. Again, accident with fixed object, sideswipe
in opposite direction and collision with vehicle left on road were among the road traffic
accident highly associated with high frequency of driver risk-taking behaviour. However,
most of the risky driver behaviours were found not to directly contribute personal RTAs
(RTAs involving the drivers themselves) but may create unsafe road environment.
Contrary to the intuitive view that risky driver behaviours increased the risk of RTAs of a
person involved in such behaviours, it is safe to say that the increased risk of RTAs appears
to be an issue for other road users other than the person displaying the risky behaviours.
These findings suggest that interventions to reduce road traffic accident in Ghana should
target the most occurring road traffic accident through public safety education.