The phenomenon of road traffic crash along Abuja-Lokoja highway has been a source of concern in view of the loss of life and its socio-economic consequence. This study examined the causes of road traffic accidents along Abuja-Lokoja highway using a survey questionnaire and secondary data obtained from the Federal road safety corps (FRSC) Kogi State and Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) sector commands covering the period 2003 to 2012. A total of 120 copies questionnaires were administered to commercial drivers in seven (7) motor parks. However, only 98 copies were successfully retrieved and considered appropriate for the analysis. The data generated were analysed using descriptive statistic and trend analysis. The result of the analysis shows that human related factors are mainly responsible for majority of the accident in the study area. Similarly, cars and buses are vehicle types that are frequently involved in accident on the road. Also majority of the accidents on the road occur during the daytime especially from 6am to 6pm. To address these problems, FRSC and other government organisations involved in road management should improve their effort at sensitizing the public especially the drivers on the need for safety behaviour while driving. Also regular monitoring patrol by Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) with the objective of checking the excesses of drivers along the route should be a daily exercise.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Transportation has liberated man and makes him more mobile, his increasing reliance on vehicular movement has conferred great facilities on him and his activities. The greatest culprit of all the modes of transport is road of which traffic crash is the most disturbing repercussion of its use (Sumaila, 2013). Globally, the phenomenon of Road Traffic Crash (RTC) is one of the leading causes of death. Annually, at least 1.2 million people die and 50 million are injured in RTC, a scale of death comparable to malaria and tuberculosis (World Health Organisation (WHO) 2005). More than 85% of these casualties occur in the low and middle income countries. Road traffic crash imposes a huge burden on developing countries amounting to 1-2% of GNP in most countries. This estimate takes account of only the direct economic cost mainly lost to productivity, rather than the full social costs often recognized by industrialized countries, its effect among the poor can be unequal. In low and middle income countries, poor people like pedestrian, cyclists and motorcyclists are usually vulnerable to RTC. They are of particular risks from the greater variety and intensity of traffic mix and the lack of separation from other road users. In Kenya, pedestrians and passengers in mass transit accounted for 80% of all fatalities and in Mumbai (India), 78% of road fatalities were pedestrians (WHO, 2005).