‘Ember Months’ of Tragedy: Separating the Myth from the Facts
For as long as can be remembered, the end of every year is believed to be synonymous with increased crime rate and road traffic accidents in Nigeria. The last four months, September to December, popularly referred to as the ‘ember months’ because they end with ‘ember’, fall into this category. Whilst these months herald the festive end of year and yuletide seasons, they also are superstitiously perceived as the purveyors of mishaps. This has been the scenario for long, such that the ‘ember months’ myth of heralding increased woes and calamities have come to stay with most of us.
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The ‘ember month’ myth has been so entrenched in the subconscious of many that these months come with the fear and anxiety of imminent danger. This myth has been so prevalent that it is usually the focus of various religious activities and prayer sessions, which aim at warding off the ‘evils’ of the season, while the media get filled with safety warnings from security and road safety agencies.
In this ’ember months’ period, it is important to clarify some of the facts behind this myth that many have come to accept.
- Myth: Ember months are synonymous with road traffic accidents
Fact: Indeed, compared to other periods of the year, there is an increase in incidences of road traffic accidents in September, October, November and December. According to road transport data, 11,363 road crashes occurred in 2016, with 28.85% of the crashes occurring in the last quarter of the year. December had the highest record of road crashes. Also, data from previous years – 2014 and 2015 – show an increase in road traffic accidents during the end of the year.
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- Myth: The frequency of road crashes is caused by spiritual forces
Fact: Contrary to what many may believe, road crashes during this period are not caused by supernatural forces. Towards the end of the year, there is an increase in socio-economic activities nationwide, leading to heavy vehicular traffic on Nigerian roads, which increases the likelihood of road crashes. It is also common for Nigerians to migrate from the commercial cities to their home towns for the end of the year and yuletide holidays. According to FRSC, violation of speed limits is reported as the major cause of road crashes, accounting for 33.86% of the total road crashes, followed by loss of control and dangerous driving.
- Myth: There is high death toll on Nigerian roads during ember months
Fact: More people lose their lives in this period. In 2016 alone, 5,053 people were killed due to road traffic accidents. 35% of these tragedies occurred in the ‘ember months’, with December recording the highest number of death. Data trends from 2014 and 2015 also show that the end of the year, especially December, records high incidents of fatalities from road accidents. This has also been linked to increased number of travellers; especially families traveling to visit loved ones in commemoration of the end of the year festivities.
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- Myth: Crime rates are on the increase during ember months
Fact: This particular myth cannot be substantiated. According to the Nigerian Police, crime occurs at this period just as any other time of the year. However, this myth may be associated with the obsession many have for lavishly celebrating the end of year season, thus putting themselves under immense financial pressure, which could cause people to resort to criminal activities in order to join the ‘show-off’ train. Due to this, the nefarious activities of armed robbers and fraudsters might be on a rise during this period.
That said, there’s the need to be safety-conscious at all times, especially as a vehicle owner or road user, particularly during the ‘ember’ months. The reality is that you can only be sure of the safety precautions you take. There is no guarantee that the next road user is as safety-conscious as you are. But then, what happens if, unfortunately, you are involved in a road accident? Or you fall victim to a robbery incident during this period? Do you have a plan in place to cover you against the financial loss or tragic loss of life that could arise?
Because you cannot be 100 percent safe in life, Leadway Assurance has put an insurance policy in place just to protect you financially in the event of any such occurrence. The Leadway Auto Plan (LAP) is designed to provide a wide range of benefits, which cover loss of, or accidental damage to, the vehicle of the insured. It also indemnifies against damage to third-party vehicles and/or property, as well as third-party bodily injury or death arising as a result of any accident from the use of the insured vehicle. LAP also covers theft of your vehicle or damages caused by accident or fire.
The LAP has three ranges of cover: Silver, Gold and Platinum, which all offer a comprehensive annually renewable package. The premium paid are in compliance with the Motor Insurance Tariff and offers full cover on your own damage and third party liability.
So, in the midst of the ‘ember months’ anxiety, why not protect yourself with the Leadway Auto Plan? Please call Leadway Assurance today on (01) 2800700, (01) 2800701 and 08129997026 or send an email to: Lcs@leadway.com for more information on Leadway’s Auto Plan.