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Road crashes
have been around with us for decades. Every single day different road traffic
agencies make serious efforts to help reduce the occurrence and frequency of occurrence
of these crashes all over the world.
James Ocholi Accident
Courtesy of Premium Times.

Despite
their efforts, crashes still do occur.
There are
several causes of these crashes but for today, we will examine three mostly
overlooked yet very vital components in every automobile, be it trucks, cars
and motorbikes that their non-usage or bad usage will in nearly all cases,
result in a road crash or incident.
First is the
Horn.   “A sound-making device that can be fitted to
motor vehicles, buses, bicycles, trains and other types of vehicles. The sound
made usually resembles a honk. The vehicle operator uses the horn to warn
others of the vehicle’s approach or presence, or to call attention to some hazard.
Motor vehicles, ships etc are required
by law
in some countries to have horns”…..Wikipedia.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
This small
device in an automobile is usually very useful for a safe operation of a
vehicle on the road especially for the above stated reasons. Sadly here in Nigeria,
a lot of people will rather not use it while driving but use it to hail and
greet their friends.
The Side-view
or Wing Mirrors. “This is a mirror found on the exterior of motor vehicles for
the purposes of helping the driver see areas behind and to the sides of the
vehicles, outside of the driver’s peripheral vision (in the blind spot)”……..Wikipedia.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
The Trafficators.
This is a signal device that indicates the vehicles intention to turn and the
direction of the turning.
Image courtesy of JC Whitney.
The key points here for the three
devices are; to warn others of the vehicle’s approach or presence, or to call
attention to some hazard, for the purposes of helping the driver see areas
behind and to the sides of the vehicles, outside of the driver’s peripheral
vision and a signal device that indicates the vehicles intention to turn and
the direction of the turning.

From careful
observation, I realized that within built-up cities/towns where vehicle speeds
are at a lower threshold than on the highway, the major causes of road
incidents and crashes are failure to properly indicate presence or approach
(Horn), indicate to other road users your direction of movement (Trafficators),
be aware of the exact proximity of other road users (Side Mirrors).
Sadly these
three devices have very simple design and operations yet many people either
deliberately or not do not use them or use them improperly. 
It is also
important to reveal here that they also usually very cheap to buy and install
in most vehicles. Most of them can be bought with less than #2,000 (two
thousand Naira per unit).
Yet many
people will not install them, repair them when they go bad or replace them as
the case may be.
When you
drive round most towns here in Nigeria, you get to see lots of automobiles without
horns, side mirrors, and trafficators, thereby having impeded operations of
such vehicle. In most instances, they either hit other road users or objects,
or create avoidable confusion that escalates issues on the road.
Imagine driving
to a junction and the approaching car without indicating his/her direction turns
to the left and you too are headed in the same direction. Its either he hits
you or vice versa or both of you creates a traffic bottleneck.
Imagine
driving beside a car and you are overtaking/passing the car and the car
side-swipes you because the driver failed to either use his side mirror or didn’t
use it well.
  
Also imagine
that you are driving and notice another car trying to side-swipe you and you
need to honk your horn to warn the other driver and realize your horn is not
working. And the car ends up hitting you because you failed to warn him/her.
For the commercial
motorcycle riders, I really do not know why most of them deliberately refuse to
install the side mirrors that are supplied with their bikes. And they also
refuse to repair their horns when they go bad. Then they deliberately do not
use their trafficators, forgetting that in the ‘food chain’ of traffic all over
the world, they are the most vulnerable in the event of an impact.
There are
things we do not need to wait for the government to do for us especially when
it concerns saving and enhancing our own lives. These little ones are things
that have been thought over and found extremely important for the smooth and
safe operation of any vehicle on any road in this world. So it behoves on us
all to always ensure that our horns, trafficators and side-mirrors, among other
components of the vehicle are all in place and in good functioning condition.
Remember that
these remaining months of the year (Ember Months) have gained notoriety for
increase of road incidents and road crashes, so let’s do all within our
capacity to ensure we do not become part of the statistics of road crash
incidents, by using Horns, Mirrors and Trafficators appropriately.

From all of
us here at Naija Car Lovers, we love you all and wish you a safe motoring now and
always.
Culled from www.carsinyankee.com
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