How to Reduce Road Accidents in Uganda: Finding Causes and Solutions

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 2792 |

Pages: 6|

14 min read

Published: Aug 14, 2023

Words: 2792|Pages: 6|14 min read

Published: Aug 14, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Risk Factors Which Led to Rad Accidents
  2. Speeding
    Impaired Driving
    Distracted Driving
    Helmet Use and Seat Belt
  3. Analysis of Traffic Accidents Based on Income
  4. Low Income
    Middle Income
    High Income
  5. How to Reduce Road Accidents: Proposed Approach
  6. Road Engineering Measures
    Enforcement Measures
  7. Conclusion
  8. References

Road traffic accidents (RTA) are the number of deaths or injuries caused on open Street or traffic road; one or more person is killed or injured, at least one moving vehicle was involved (OECD, 2018). Approximately 1.35 million deaths are caused due to road accidents. It is the 8th leading cause for the death of all ages. Children, pedestrians, old age people and cyclists are among the most exposed to the deaths around the world. A large portion of the deaths occurs in low income and middle- income countries even though they have half of the world’s vehicles. Most of the injuries caused during the accidents incur disability. Socioeconomic backgrounds class are the most affected, due to higher treatment costs and loss of productivity, the same follows in high-income countries. This essay on 'How to Reduce Road Accidents' explores various strategies and interventions aimed at minimizing the frequency and severity of traffic collisions in Uganda as well as identifies causes of high road accidents.

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The relationship between road accidents and economic development, as the fatality rate increases economic growth decreases, this impacts on the growth development of the country. Road traffic accidents cost 3% of the country’s GDP. Low and middle-income countries have the highest number of deaths from traffic accidents; these may be due to rapid urbanisation and motorisation. African and South East Asian countries have the highest fatality rate more than the global rate with 26.6 and 20.7 deaths per 100000 population. There is an observable difference between the middle-income countries in Africa having traffic deaths of 23.6 per 100000 population and low-income countries death rate is around 29.3 per 100000 population.

Variation in the death rate of a country also matches with the type of road user affected. The worldwide deaths for pedestrians and cyclists constitute 26%, two-three wheeler of 28%, car holders make up 29% and the rest 17% are unidentified road users. In countries of Africa pedestrians and cyclists, deaths constitute of about 44% and similarly in Southeast Asia 2 and 3 wheeler vehicles contitute upto 43% and 36% of all the traffic accidents on the road. Report from the World Health Organization (WHO) betterment towards the reduction of traffic accidents varies from countries. A strong connection appears to between the traffic accidents and the income level of the country. Even though only 1% of the vehicles are in low-income countries they constitute 13 % of the accidental deaths. Sustainable development goals (SDG) 3.6 had targeted to reduce the traffic accidents by half by 2020. There has been a positive result in reducing the deaths caused by the traffic incidents in middle and high-income countries. While there is no reduction in the deaths caused in low-income countries. In order to achieve these goals drastic changes to be implemented to meet the desired results

Risk Factors Which Led to Rad Accidents


The speed of the vehicle directly relates to the increase in the number of crashes. The speed of the vehicles also influences the severity of the injuries. Efficient speed management is to be planned to reduce road accidents. Enforcing speed limits is one of the protective measures to control the number the deaths. Setting up the speed limit depends upon the class and quality of the road. Reduction in a small number of speeds has huge impacts as reducing the intensity of the crash. Implementing the national speed limit and setting up speed limit in urban areas of 50km/hr to control speeding of the vehicles. 95% of the countries have implemented as it is considered as best practice.

Impaired Driving

Consumption of alcohol or drugs has serious consequences on the driving behaviour of the person. It accounts for 5% to 35% of the road crashes. Individuals between the ages 19-30 years are responsible for most of the crashes/accidents. Reducing the blood alcohol concentrations to a much lower value could decrease the crashes.

Distracted Driving

Use of mobile phones while driving has been growing among the young drivers with consequent crash results. When drivers are using phones it is more likely that they do not follow the rules (missing red lights). Controlling the vehicle with one hand and other hand operating the car decreases the response time to react to the on-going traffic and thereby increasing the accident rate.

Helmet Use and Seat Belt

In recent years, the number of usage of two and three wheeler vehicles were increased by 10% on the roads. More than 70% of them; are these vehicles, on comparing with other vehicles. Use of helmets while driving could prevent fatal head injuries and decrease the death rate by 62%. Use of helmets should be made compulsory for pillion passengers and helmets should meet the necessary design standards. Enforcing the use of helmets for the passengers and drivers is one way to create awareness.

Use of seat belts during driving to all the passengers should be made compulsory. Refusal to wear the seat belt results in the crashes with an increase in the chance of the death. Laws have to be introduced and should be made mandatory to use seat belts while travelling.

Analysis of Traffic Accidents Based on Income

Low Income

Uganda is one of the African low-income countries which have seen a consistent increase in the mortality rate due to road traffic accidents. At present, the road traffic accidents are about 28.9 per 100000 population deaths. This is considered more than the global mortality rate of 18 per population deaths. On average, Uganda loses 10 people every day from crashes. As the result, Uganda is among the top countries experiencing high deaths from road traffic accidents. The overall crash costs are estimated to be 1.2billion dollars; that is 5% of Uganda GDP. The road safety culture and attitudes are declining to weak leadership skills, allocation of necessary resources and mainly low commitment towards road safety measures.

Road safety has not been benefitted by increasing the funding to the transport sector, even though 18.7% of the budget was allocated towards improvement. Countries road infrastructure is very poor and unsafe. There are an adequate amount of flaws in the planning of road sections and inappropriate use of land. The country lacks the qualified staff to improve and assess various necessary details of road safety education.

The data from Uganda Bureau of statistics 2016 shows the death rate as not been reduced, where the agenda at WHO for SDG 3.6 was to reduce the death rate by 50%. The graph shows a decline in road death from 2011-2013 but gradually increased in the next two years. However, no significant change has been seen in order to control the crashes. The government is inefficient in formulating and implementing the schemes to achieve the desired goals. Causes for the road traffic incidents include human behaviour, overspending, lack of proper road infrastructure, necessary safety precautions and not obeying traffic rules. Order to the road accidents, the government should enforce strict rules so that drivers are more conscious while driving.

Middle Income

India falls under the middle-income country with a Gross national income per capita of US$ 1680 with a population of 1.33billion. In 2011 alone, India alone witnessed 4.7 lakh deaths. The economic damage due to road traffic accidents results in loss of GDP. Rapid urbanization and motorisation have led to an increase in the number of vehicles on the roads in developing countries. All age groups are affected, 83% of them being men. The main victims being in the age between 15 – 35 years accounting up to 53%of the road accidents. Over 70% of vehicles are two-wheelers, which outnumber other vehicles. The risk of accidents is higher as there is no barrier protection from the accidents. With the development of the countries, number of vehicles occupy the roads, increasing the risk of having fatal accidents.

In 2016 a total of 150785 deaths were recorded through out the country of which 85% were men. As data shows 40% of the accidents are caused through 2 and 3 wheelers. The trends show an increase in the fatality rate due to weaker enforcement rules. Causes for roads accidents are over speeding – exceeding the speed limit of the road, impaired driving- driving under the effect of alcohol, teenage driving – teens are known for rash driving and involved in crashes and road design- poor quality of road which does not meet the standards are often affected by the road users causing accidents. In order to reduce the fatalities, authorities should enforce strict laws and rules that are supposed to be followed. Even though all the measures are implemented but lack in enforcement as in many parts of India rules are neglected, when new safety measures are implemented individuals criticize without noticing the benefits of them. With strict action plans and new strategies, it would help the country in achieving the long-term goals.

High Income

United Kingdom high-income country with an estimated population of 66.02 million in 2017 has road network length of 224700 miles. In 2015 the number of deaths reported was 1804. The fatality rate has decreased consequently as death rates were higher in 2007 and significant drop due to enforcement of rules as allowed people to change the driving behaviours.

The data shows the death rate has been consistent from 2011-2015 and we can see that growth in the economy as the fatality rate is reduced. Economic costs in 2015 for reported and unreported fatalities were up to 35.5 billion. In high-income countries, the socio-economic is more likely to be affected in car accidents.

The mortality rate has been reduced and all classes of road users are benefited from this. The greatest has been the pedestrians reduced to 24%. The fatality among the drivers using the car is 33% which has been decreased from the recent years. The age group involved in the crashes as changed significantly from 2000 to 2016. Young people involved in the crashes have been decreased; age group 25-64years are involved in the fatalities. Causes for road traffic deaths in the United Kingdom are over speeding which constitutes 15% fatalities, 13 % of the deaths caused due to drink and driving and distraction while driving the vehicles was 1.6% which mainly due to use of mobile phones while driving. As law enforcement is much better awareness programs can be initiated to reach the drivers.

How to Reduce Road Accidents: Proposed Approach

Uganda covers an area of 241,000 square kilometres with an estimated population of 41.49 million as of 2016. Uganda is a transit country for goods and services to the eastern part of the countries. The country emphasizes to boost the transport sector so the economic growth increased. As the transport sector adds up to 2.8% of GDP in the year 2014/15. Under the second National Development Plan II recognizes to reach middle-income class by 2040. In 2017/18 government allocated 17% of the budget to the transport sector. The rapid increase in the motorization form 635,556 vehicles in 2010 to an estimated 1,228,425 in 2014 of which 80%of them are on the national road network.

The capital Kampala has a high rate of traffic congestion. Increase in congestions forces people to switch boda-boda. Boda boda is a two-wheeler taxi used by citizens to move from one place to another. As the congestion levels are higher people tend to use a cheapest and faster way to reach their destination. Use of this type of taxi service is the biggest concern as the death rate from them is comparatively higher as it offers no safety and number of people travel on a single motor vehicle. Uganda’s road infrastructure is very poor design quality due to lack of proper planning and efficient skilled people to perform the job. Most of the roads do not meet the design standards such as improper placement of medians, steep shoulders and few overtaking opportunities. Road safety audits are not carried out regularly necessary staff are lacking to conduct the survey. Uganda is not a car manufacturing country; it depends upon the imports from the Asian countries. As most of the imports are of cheap cars which generally would have defects and higher are the risks getting involved in the accidentss. Post-crash care should be improved as it helps in saving the lives of the victims. As the country lacks with the transportation and rescue services, the government should consider improving the facilities to attend the crash causalities.

Road Engineering Measures

  • Identifying accidental black spots: identifying the necessary spots where the accidents are more concentrated and more frequently occurring. Necessary measures can be taken at those spots such as the use of signboards indicating the accidental zone, installing speed breakers to reduce the speed of the vehicle.
  • Road safety audits: is to examine a road with a specialist team and to identify the potential threats or risks and improving the necessary safety measures, in order to reduce the accidents in the future.
  • Installing crash barriers: These can be installed at the diversion of the main road to sub roads or a new road joining to the main road. These are used to prevent the vehicles from entering into the opposite carriageway. These absorb the impact of the speeding vehicle and reduce the possible damage.
  • Traffic sign boards: These are the signboards erected on the roadside to give information and instructions to the road users. Signboards of various different shapes and graphical representation are used to convey various information of that particular road. Sign is illuminated so that they can be clearly visible at night hours.
  • Speed breakers/humps: are introduced in certain parts of the road to reduce the speed of the vehicles. Speed breakers are installed in accident-prone areas, temporary junctions or at the junction crossing. Improper speed breakers can lead to injuries in certain cases death also. These are installed to bring down the speed of the vehicles on a certain type of road.

Enforcement Measures

  • Speed limit: based on the type of the road, the speed limit needs to be installed for all types of roads. Fixing speed limit for each class of roads would decrease the accidental rate as the drivers are more cautious of being fined for exceeding the speed limit. The severity of the crash increases with the increase in the speed of the vehicle.
  • Behaviour enforcements: Poor driving skills of the drivers need to be improved as it increases the fatality rate. Driver licence system needs to be improved with strict rules and proper knowledge to improve the attitude towards safe driving.
  • Drink and driving: consumption of alcohol above a specified amount and driving the vehicle. The fatality rate increases with drink and driving. Conducting Random breath test (RBT) among the drivers and making the cautious and creating awareness. Issuing heavy penalties to the offenders or in certain cases disqualification of the license.
  • Seat belts and helmets: seatbelts are used to protect you from the impacts caused during the road accidents. Enforcing strict laws and mandatory for the cars to have seat belts and use of them for the front as well as rear seats should be made compulsory. Similarly, the use of helmets for both passengers should be made compulsory, as it would save most of the head injuries during the crashes. Penalties should be collected if people fail to follow these rules.

All road engineering and enforcement measures can be implemented in Uganda to over the traffic accident deaths. A politically better-motivated leadership is required to implement the various programs. Skilled staff members are to be appointed to carry out necessary work.

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The efficient transportation system is an integral part of the development of the country. As urbanization increases the number of vehicles also increases. As the country proceeds with proper implementation of schemes and framed policies it is easier for development and achieving goals. This is most commonly seen in high-income countries. Governments in low and middle-income countries need to focus on providing safe road transport measures which would have a better influence on the economic growth of the country. Along with that enforcement of rules and awareness programs and necessary audits have to be carried out to observe the trends in each year.


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  • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. 2018. Road safety performance review Uganda. [Online]. [Accessed 10 December 2018]. Available from:
  • Uganda bureau of statistics.2015. Road accident casualties. [online]. [Accessed 10 December 2018]. Available from:
  • National Health Portal Of India. Road Traffic Accidents.[online]. [Accessed 11 December 2018]. Available from:
  • Balikuddembe, J.K., Ardalan, A., Khorasani-Zavareh, D., Nejati, A. and Munanura, K.S. 2017. Road traffic incidents in Uganda: a systematic review of a five-year trend. Journal of Injury and Violence Research. 9(1), pp.17–25.
  • Ruikar, M. 2013. National statistics of road traffic accidents in India. Journal of Orthopedics, Traumatology and Rehabilitation. 6(1), p.1.
  • Verma, Aparna., Gupta, Ashutosh and Nath, Baikunth .2017. Road Safety Improvement in India. Journal of Civil Engineering and Environmental Technology Volume 4(4), pp. 379-381.
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How to Reduce Road Accidents in Uganda: Finding Causes and Solutions. (2023, August 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from
“How to Reduce Road Accidents in Uganda: Finding Causes and Solutions.” GradesFixer, 14 Aug. 2023,
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