Road crashes have more impact on poverty than you probably thought

Road crashes are becoming a global pandemic health crisis and, as such, require comprehensive measures to prevent them, including a better understanding of the social impacts of road-related deaths and injuries. Several indicators aim to illustrate the impact of traffic crashes. The most common ones are the number of fatalities and injuries. Globally some 1.35 million people die on the road every year and up to 50 million suffer injuries. And overall economic costs of road crashes range from 2-5 percent of GDP in development countries like Kenya. These economic costs provide a basis for transport safety improvement projects such as hazard location treatments, road audits, school zones and other preventive measures.

It is important, however, to turn our eyes on the impact of road crashes at the household level. The impact on a family in losing a loved one is enormous, both in terms of emotional trauma and or loss of income or caused disability, especially when many middle low income countries like Kenya do not have strong enough safety nets for victims of road crashes. The impact of road crashes is less understood, and lack of strong data or evidence on these is a challenge in many countries.

If a member of a family is involved in a road crash, what kind of changes are likely to occur in that particular family? If the head of household or breadwinner is killed or severely injured, the impact to that household can be devastating. The results clearly show the impact of road crashes on household income, unemployment, home ownership, divorce rate, and income gaps for surviving victims of road-crashes. Here are some of the highlights:

  • A large number of people lose their jobs after traffic crashes: 70.7 percent of the disabled and 27.6 percent of the non-disabled victims of road crashes experienced job losses after a traffic incident. Furthermore, 67.9 percent of the disabled and 24 percent of the non-disabled who lost their jobs remain unemployed for long periods of time.
  • It takes longer for victims of road crashes to find jobs: After they finally leave a hospital, the length of time for job searching for disabled and non-disabled people is 38 months and 19.8 months respectively, compared to the average of 2.8 months for people not involved in road crashes.
  • There are huge income gaps between victims of traffic crashes and non- victims: It is very hard for victims of road-crashes to get well-paying jobs. This means that economic losses tend to have a lasting impact for survivors of road crashes. And we know the effects can be even more dramatic for the poor in developing countries like Kenya.
  • Traffic crashes can end home ownership: Some victims are fortunate to get enough insurance compensations when they are involved in road crashes, but this is not the case for all. If wrongdoers have no, or insufficient, insurance, the economic losses for victims become much more severe.

Traffic crashes can also break up a family. Almost 40 percent of the disabled have experienced divorces (or separations) after a traffic crash. This is compared to a five percent divorce rate for non-victims of road crashes. Some of the reasons that couples cite for breaking up include economic difficulties and frustrations resulted from road crashes. As we can see, traffic crashes can bring about a lot of difficulties on individual households.

How You Can Help

SDAF vision is to ensure that every young person has access to road safety education and save more lives. To this end, we offer very affordable a day programs at a wide range of venues so as many young people as possible can participate regardless of where they live or their financial situation.

As little as $300 donated will help pay for 50 young persons to attend the Safedrive Africa Foundation Road safety awareness Program, $200 donated would help pay the cost of a facilitators at a SDAF Program and $1000 donated would help pay for a one school, religious group or a community to receive the workshop, training and lifesaving publications.

Your gift no matter how large or small will make a difference by helping SDAF to provide essential road safety sensitization, seminars, community event outreach, counseling, mentoring road safety and environmentally friendly messages to young people right across the country as well as increasing awareness about the importance of road safety education in reducing road trauma.

Donate in Tribute of your colleagues, friends, neighbor or family member

Donating to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives on our roads is a thoughtful and significant way to show support. Safedrive Africa Foundation gratefully accepts donations in tribute which help us keep working towards a safer future for the next generation of young drivers and their passengers.

Business & Corporations

Businesses & Corporations can provide financial or in-kind support, locally, nationally or internationally to help make the SDAF road safety education programs more widely available in their community. Currently our appeal project is to have an effective logistic that can carry many volunteers at once in order to serve wider community and traffic affected families in urban and rural remote areas. Corporate donor logo or name will be placed on all branding, banners and IEC Materials as a program sponsor.

We thank our partners for their generous donations to save lives.

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