The annual police crime report has indicated a 17% spike to 20394 in the number of accidents on Ugandan roads in 2022 with 21473 people becoming victims of these crashes.
The report released on Wednesday indicated that 4534 people were killed during these crashes.
“Whereas 4534 people died in the crashes, 15227 got serious injuries and 1712 sustained minor injuries,” the report says in part.
The 4534 is an increase of 375 accidents from the 4159 that were recorded in the previous year 2021.
The year 2022 saw an unprecedented spike in crashes on Ugandan roads.
For example, in just 10 days between April, 24 and May, 4, 118 people were killed in road crashes and of these, 28 died on the same day on May, 4 after a Link bus crashed in Fort Portal while heading back to Kampala as well as another accident involving three vehicles including a drone taxi along the Mbale-Tirinyi road.
On May, 1 and May, 2 which were both public holidays saw 23 people die in crashes on Ugandan roads.
In just six days between May, 1 and 7, 103 people were killed in 364 accidents but earlier, in a period of eight days between April 24 and May 2, a total of 90 people had been killed in road crashes whereas in nine days between April, 10 and 19,101 people had lost their lives in crashes.
The statistics from Traffic Police also indicated that in the first 15 days of May, 176 people had died in 113 accidents whereas 659 were left with serious injuries from the accidents but in just one month of April, 153 people had died in road crashes.
There was also a spike in accidents during the festive season as has been the case for many years.
For example, at least 55 people died in road crashes in four days in 206 crashes between December, 23 and 26.
The deaths continued even after Christmas festivities.
On December 28,at least 10 people lost their lives when a Mercedes Benz Actros trailer from Masaka heading to Mbarara side had a rear tyre burst and rammed into oncoming vehicles including a Toyota Hiace and a Mark II Grande, killing 10 people on the spot.
The accident happened at Kaganda towards Kyojja swamp in Kinoni, Lwengo District along the Masaka – Mbarara highway.
According to the latest traffic police report, out of every 100 crashes in 2022, 22 people were killed on Ugandan roads.
“These figures of crashes are unacceptable in our country. Some of these crashes may be disguised in form of crime or in form of fraud,” the police traffic director, Lawrence Niwabiine said.
The report also indicates that 61% of the accidents were as a result of reckless driving.
Going into detail, the report indicates that the biggest number of accidents was registered between 7pm and 8pm and this has been attributed to tiredness of the road users.
“This time, most drivers and the pedestrians are tired and may don’t cross roads properly,” Niwabiine said.
The report also indicates that whereas the time past midnight recorded the lowest number of accidents, these killed more people.
In simple terms, the time from midnight to 7am registered the lowest number of crashes but registered many deaths.
Traffic Police attributed this trend to intoxication by drivers.
The Traffic Police director also indicated that at least 47 people died and 199 others were injured due to accidents caused by vehicle tyre bursts.
“After the lockdown, many vehicle tyres had got expired but the drivers didn’t have this knowledge. When the lockdown was lifted, we saw many accidents caused by tyre bursts on our roads,”Niwabiine said.
He also revealed that the lockdown saw a big number of buses get grounded which left a huge gap that was utilized by Toyota Hiace vehicles also known as Drones.
Niwabiine indicated that because the drones are very fast, they caused many accidents in which at least 800 people were killed.
He said something needs to be done on this trend of affairs.
The Traffic Police director however noted that they have created a data analysis centre to inform their enforcement strategy and tactics.