BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Accidents today are among the leading causes of death in some cases, the number one cause in many parts of the world particularly the highly industrialized nations (Wikipedia, 2011). Road traffic accidents or injuries cannot be overemphasized in developing countries like Nigeria due to the fact that it is difficult to know the major causes and effects of road traffic accidents on environmental development. World Health Organization (2002) and United Nations global safety collaboration (2007) Opined that Road traffic accidents are major causes of death and disability globally, with a disproportionate number occurring in developing countries in which it has currently ranked as the tenth leading causes of disability adjusted life years lost in the whole world. Thus, the term road traffic accidents (RTAs) is when a road vehicle collides with another vehicles, pedestrians, animals or geographical or architectural obstacle which can result in injuries, property damage and death (World Health Organization, 2004). Road traffic accidents can also be described as accident which took place on the road between two or more objects, one of which must be any kind of a moving vehicle (Jha, N., Srinivasa, D.K, Roy, G and Jagadish, S, 2004). However, the way in which death by road accidents are treated in Nigeria, confirms that the government has no regard for human lives and it is disturbing that human lives are treated purely as “statistics”. Chidoka (2009) the corp marshal of the federal road safety noted during a media briefing that 5,157 lives were lost through road accidents in Nigeria in the last three years and according to the statistical break down out of a total of 18,308 accidental report, 5,157 were recorded while a total of 13,251 person sustained different forms of injuries in which he further noted that 2,119 accidents and 301 deaths were as a result of tanker driver and road haulage trucks between January and March 2009. According to Sangofadeji (2011) the chief executive officer, Ogun state traffic compliance and enforcement corps (TRACE) asserted that 173 of 191 road traffic accidents recorded in 2010 involved in motor vehicles, while 18 were motorcycle accidents and a total of 74 people died in road accidents across Ogun state last year. However, all road users are potential victims of road accident resulting into injuries but commoner in those whose attitudes portrayed to be selfish, hostile, choleric, fool hardly, abuses, substances and physically unfit (Awesu, 2007; freeman, Geshen and King, 1990; Udoh and Haastrup, 2006; European bank for reconstruction and development). Salawu (2008) opined that Nigeria’s high ways transportation system is one of the most complex system in our society with increased traffic accidents that leads to negative effect on the road users. And for many years, injuries and fatalities resulting from the use of all automobiles were accepted gradually rather realistically in which a healthy and aggressive social attitude towards road traffic accidents and their prevention is of great importation through educative programmes and procedures.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Road traffic accidents (RTAs) are increasing with rapid pace and presently these has become one of the leading causes of death in developing countries and the morbidity and mortality burden in developing countries is rising due to a combination of factors such as rapid motorization, poor road design and traffic infrastructure as well as the behavior of road users (Nantulya and Reich,2002).Thus, In many countries or cities road traffic accidents is critical despite that the rate of accidents are generally less in rural than urban area and yet many people are involved in possession of numerous vehicles accidents such as cars, buses, lorries, motorcycle e.t.c. which usually result to road traffic accidents and bring about some negative impact on development of the environment. Therefore, the researcher would attempt to identify some of these causes, effects as well as suggest better ways to solve the problems confronting road traffic accidents among automobile road users in Ijebu-Ode local government Area of Ogun State.
The study found answers to the following questions as highlighted by the researcher:
i. Will mechanical problems be perceived as significant determinant of road traffic accidents among automobile road users in Ijebu-Ode local Government Area of Ogun State?
ii. Will ignorance of basic safety rules by the road users be perceived as significant determinant of road traffic accidents among automobile road users in Ijebu-Ode local Government Area of Ogun State?
iii. Will ineffectiveness by the road traffic wardens be perceived as significant determinant of road traffic accidents among automobile road users in Ijebu-Ode local Government Area of Ogun State?
iv. Will socio-cultural factors be perceived as significant determinant of traffic mishap on highways among automobile road users in Ijebu-Ode local Government Area of Ogun State?
Ho1: Mechanical problems will not be perceived as a significant determinant of road traffic accidents among automobile road users in Ijebu-Ode local Government Area of Ogun State.
Ho2: Ignorance of basic safety rules by the road users will not be perceived as a significant determinant of road traffic accidents in Ijebu-ode local government Area of Ogun State
Ho3: Ineffectiveness by the road traffic wardens will not be perceived as a significant determinant of road traffic accidents among automobile road users in Ijebu-Ode local Government Area of Ogun State.
Ho4: Socio-cultural factors will not be perceived as a significant determinant of traffic mishap on highways in Ijebu-Ode local Government Area of Ogun State.
DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study will be delimited to the following:
Traffic compliance and enforcement corps (TRACE).
State hospital Ijebu-Ode local government area of Ogun State.
Descriptive research design will be adopted.
The use of stratified sampling techniques
The use of self developed structured questionnaire to elicit responses from respondents
The use of descriptive statistics of frequency count and simple percentages to analyze demographic data as well as the inferential statistic of chi-squares (X2) to test the hypotheses at 0.05 alpha level of significance.
Two (2) trained research assistants.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Responses that were provided by the respondents to some of the questions in the questionnaire were not correct. The attitude of respondents towards filling of the questionnaire was not right which led to incomplete filling of the questionnaire due to time constraints. Effort was made by the researcher to convince and assure respondents that every information supplied will be treated confidentially. Other limitation in the course of this study was adequately taken care of by the researcher.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The relevance of this research work is to examine the perceived determinants of road traffic accidents among automobile road users in Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State. The researcher hopes that findings at the end of the study would suggest better solutions to control the incessant of RTAs on highways in Ijebu-Ode local Government Area of Ogun State. The research study is also equally to make known to road users the different factors that are responsible for road traffic accidents and its effects on environmental development in Ijebu-Ode local government including the efforts made by the government in combating problems associated with road traffic accidents to Promote Healthful living in Ijebu-Ode Metropolis.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Automobiles: These are vehicle such as car, buses, Lorries etc.
Collision: Accident in which two vehicles or people crash or collides together.
RTAs: Road traffic Accidents.
Congestion: This involve traffic congested and pollutant
Victims: sufferer or casualty.
Hostile: opposed or unfriendly attitude.
Mortality: Death rate and dying level.
Choleric: Quick tempered or peevish.
Morbidity: Gloom or diseases.
Accidents: Unfortunate incidence especially harmful event that caused unplanned situation.
Plying: Utilizing the highways.
Road users: people plying the road.