Environmental factors (conditions) and road fatalities: a case study of Kampala-Masaka Highway
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Background: Road traffic accidents (RTAs) are an emerging public health problem. It is estimated that more than 1.3 million people die annually as a result of RTAs worldwide. Currently, RTA is the tenth leading cause of disease burden in the developing countries of which Uganda is inclusive. The goal of the study was to explore the possible environmental conditions of road fatalities and offer guiding suggestions regarding preventive measures, as well as identify the road design and driver factors that contribute to road accidents.This survey was conducted on Kampala-Masaka Highway. 40 motor vehicle drivers were interviewed where by 95% were males and 5% were females, and also the current state and design of the road using an observation checklist was observed. Review of different documents was also done which included different ESIAs conducted for the construction and reconstruction of different Highways in different parts of the world. The ESIA written on the upgrading of the road in 2015 does not meet the IHDSs as set by NCHRP and AASHO. Contributory factors to frequent RTAs on this road included human errors; bad road; defective vehicles. Antecedent factors associated with RTAs on this road included over-speeding, overloading and laxed laws. RTAs continue to cause avoidable injuries, disabilities and mortality. I show that antecedent factors on this road to RTAs are modifiable through training, improved road design and maintenance, motor vehicle repairs and proper policing. Keywords: Road Fatalities, Environmental Conditions, Road Traffic Accidents.