Alarm as road crashes in Kenya rise over past two years

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Human behaviour, including speed limit violations, fatigue, negligence, and pedestrian-related incidents, remains a leading cause of accidents

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) through its audited financial reports for the fiscal years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, has revealed a concerning trend in road crashes across the country.

The data highlights a complex landscape of accidents and fatalities, emphasising persistent challenges in road safety.

According to NTSA's comprehensive reviews, 21,645 road accident casualties were reported in FY 2021-2022.

This figure includes 4,723 fatalities, 10,148 serious injuries, and 6,774 cases of slight injuries.

In the following fiscal year 2022-2023, the number of reported casualties slightly increased to 22,044, with 4,634 fatalities, 10,106 serious injuries, and 7,304 cases of slight injuries.

While the data shows a marginal decrease of 1.9 per cent in fatalities from FY 2021-2022 to FY 2022-2023, serious injuries saw a minimal decline of 0.4 per cent.

Analysis of accident causes

NTSA's analysis attributes road accidents to three primary factors: human behaviour, vehicle mechanical conditions, and road infrastructure.

Human behaviour, including speeding violations, fatigue, negligence, and pedestrian-related incidents, remains a leading cause of accidents.

“Speeding reduces reaction time and exacerbates crash severity, while fatigue impairs driver alertness,” reads the report.

Negligent behaviours such as distracted driving and non-observance of traffic rules further contribute to accident rates.

According to NTSA, pedestrian-related accidents often involving unsafe crossings also pose significant risks.

Vehicle mechanical conditions, such as brake failures and tyre bursts due to poor maintenance, constitute another critical factor in road crashes.

Other causes of road crashes included defective speed limiters in Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) compound risks, highlighting the importance of rigorous compliance inspections.

The NTSA also identified inadequate road infrastructure as a road safety challenge.

“Issues like ineffective guardrails, insufficient signage, inconsistent speed limits, and the absence of designated pedestrian crossings contribute to confusion and accidents on Kenyan roads,” says NTSA in the report.

The breakdown of casualties among different road user groups reveals varying impacts across categories.

Pedestrians accounted for the highest number of fatalities in both years, with 1,667 in FY 2021-2022 and slightly fewer at 1,634 in FY 2022-2023.

Drivers, who are behind the wheel of vehicles, experienced 431 fatalities in FY 2021-2022, decreasing to 410 fatalities in FY 2022-2023.

Passengers, saw an increase from 795 fatalities in FY 2021-2022 to 870 fatalities in FY 2022-2023, indicating a rise in casualties among this group.

Pillion passenger fatalities decreased from 477 in FY 2021-2022 to 422 in FY 2022-2023.

Pedal cyclists experienced a slight increase in casualties from 70 in FY 2021-2022 to 74 in FY 2022-2023.

Motorcyclists accounted for 1,265 fatalities in FY 2021-2022, decreasing to 1,204 fatalities in FY 2022-2023.

“These numbers illustrate the varied impacts of road accidents on different groups of road users over the two fiscal years, reflecting ongoing challenges in road safety management and enforcement in Kenya,” reads the report.


To address the persistent challenges and enhance road safety in Kenya, NTSA has outlined several key recommendations based on its findings from recent years.

The authority emphasises the need for enhanced enforcement of existing traffic regulations.

There are also increased public education and awareness campaigns on road safety targeting all road users, including drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

“By educating the public about responsible behaviour on the roads and the importance of adhering to traffic rules, NTSA aims to foster a safety culture and reduce risky behaviours that lead to accidents,” reads the report.


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