Determinants of the Rising Numbers of Traffic Road Accidents Along Thika Super Highway in Nairobi -Kenya
Munge, Rachael M.
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The construction of Thika Superhighway was aimed at addressing road safety by improving transportation and reducing traffic accidents. Despite this effort the numbers of accidents along Thika Superhighway still continue to occur claiming more lives. This study examined the determinants of the rising number of traffic road accidents along Thika Superhighway in Kenya. The study objectives were; to establish whether the kind of training that the drivers undertake to qualify as drivers contributes to rising numbers of accidents, to examine the contribution of road design on road accidents, to establish the types of vehicles that mostly causes traffic road accidents and to find out the best strategies that can enhance road safety on Thika Superhighway. Accident Cessation Theory and the Reciprocal Determinism Theory were used to guide the study. The study adopted descriptive and exploratory research designs to collect quantitative and qualitative primary data. The study targeted a population of 249 respondents drawn from traffic police officers, road safety personnel and users of Thika Superhighway. Slovin’s formula was used to determine the sample size of junior traffic police officers who were selected using simple random sampling techniques. Purposive sampling technique was used to select senior officers from traffic police, National Transport Safety Authority and Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure while convenience sampling technique was applied to select drivers and pedestrians. Questionnaires, interview schedules and focus group discussions were used to collect primary data collection. Qualitative data was analysed using thematic method, while quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies, means and standard deviations. The analysed data was presented in tables and charts to represent quantitative findings while qualitative findings were presented in narratives, verbatim reporting, discussions and inferences. Results showed that driving schools produced incompetent road users. Road design, public service vehicles and private motor vehicles were found to be the major contributor of traffic road accidents. To address incompetent drivers the government and road safety stakeholders need to develop a policy to address poor training in driving schools. The study recommends use of speed guns and stationery cameras as deterrent to over speeding and reckless driving. Finally redesigning of defective road sections and construction of addition footbridges will ensure safety on the highway. These study findings are hoped to benefit all stakeholders and users of roads in an effort to ensure safety on Kenyan roads.