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Monday, May 20, 2024

Big Buttocks, a Major Cause of Road Traffic Crashes in Nigeria — Findings of a Concerned Bachelor

 

By Izunna Okafor, Awka

When we think of road traffic crashes in Nigeria, the usual causes that come to mind are speeding, drunk driving, wrong overtaking, poor road conditions and road unworthiness of the vehicles involved (such as tyre burst, brake failure, etc).

However, there’s a less conventional factor that deserves clear attention: Big Buttocks.

Although, this may sound humorous at first, the reality is that the phenomenon poses a serious risk on our roads in this country. As, we may know, this a complex issue that intertwines cultural aesthetics, societal expectations, and the distractions they may cause to drivers (Ọkada and Keke drivers also inclusive).

In Nigeria and even in many other countries, big buttocks are celebrated and highly admired as a mark of beauty and attractiveness of a woman/lady. This high admiration undoubtedly creates an unintended distraction on the roads, as it is usually uncommon for some drivers, especially men, not to look, admire or be momentarily distracted by (walking or roadside standing) ladies adorned with such pronounced features, especially those who their own are eyely and apparent.

Unarguably, some of these ladies deliberately and strategically position, swing or dangle these buttocks along the road to attract attention, knowing or without knowing the resultant effects of what they are doing.

This reporter, Izunna Okafor, has discovered that part of the primary dangers posed by big buttocks in traffic is the distraction they can create for drivers; and when these drivers take their eyes off the road to observe or admire, even for just a few seconds, the risk of a crash significantly increases.

The reporter, also concerned bachelor, took time to interview some shuttle bus drivers and tricycle operators in Awka metropolis, including Chibuike Anosike (popular known as Mmiri), Jude Chukwukwa (Star Boy), Emmanuel Enukora, and Nnamdi Agwuncha, who recounted personal experiences of how big buttocks had diverted their focus while on steering.

As for the effects, while two of them reported swerving off the road, one other said he brushed an oncoming vehicle, while the other had a tale of a near-miss with some school children whom he nearly crushed while they were crossing road at Ifite behind the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. Although these accounts might sound lighthearted, they underscore a serious safety concern.

In addition to road traffic crashes, big buttocks also cause traffic gridlock (hold-up or go-slow) on the road in many ways.

It is good to note that crashes or hold-ups caused by distraction from big buttocks are usually not attributed to them by traffic wardens, whom themselves are even sometimes distracted by the same thing, thereby causing them to look focus or mis-control a vehicle, with its resultant effects.

Deliberately or indeliberately, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) reports rarely cite distractions caused by big buttocks as an accident cause, probably because they were not there when the accident happened, because the eyewitness account didn’t capture it, or because such issue is not considered an official traffic violation.

By this, will it not be helpful for government to recognize dangling of big buttocks along the road as a serious traffic offence and a threat to public safety?

The concerned authority may need to give this a thought. More research is needed to quantify and establish the impact of this issue. FRSC could explore collection of data on the role of distractions caused by big buttocks in crashes. This data would help inform targeted interventions.

The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) of Ghana is already considering a study on similar issue.

This reporter made attempts to get the views of the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Anambra State, CC Adeoye Irelewuyi, on the matter, which proved abortive, as he did not pick his call or respond to the text message sent to him to that effect.

Notwithstanding the sensitivity surrounding the topic, raising such awareness as this publication and others is also very crucial.

Drivers must recognize that any distraction, including the allure of big buttocks, can have serious consequences.

By noting these dangers of being distracted by big buttocks, drivers can work towards reducing its impact on road safety, probably by looking just once and then focusing back on their driving, or by even not looking at all; after all that glitters is not gold.

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