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Testimony of a Victim who survived road crash

Updated: Mar 28, 2020

I am by name of Nshizirungu Excellent, a road crash survivor 11 years ago, I lived and grew up in rural are area where we didn’t have access to electricity, home water tap and I didn’t even know if paved roads exist at that time. I lived with my grandmother who loved me very much and my niece.

In 2009 when I was 13 years of age, I left my grand mother from rural area and moved to the city to start my secondary school. I was so excited because I thought myself that I am going to fulfill my dream. When I arrived in city for my first time I saw many people walking aside road, road, cars, cyclist, motorcycle and traffic lights which I have never seen before.

One Week later, it was in afternoon a day before starting my secondary school, I decided to go in saloon for shaving my hair, on my way heading to salon I had to cross the road but I didn’t have idea about zebra crossing or looking right and left before crossing suddenly. while crossing, a car hit me suddenly! I fainted and after a while a wake up seeing myself at hospital, lying on the bed with multiple abrasions on my head, elbow and on my legs. I was not able to move my legs I tried to sit up but I couldn't. I asked my old brother what happened ? He replied, “Yesterday you had road crashes the car hit you, It’s been 18 hours in hospital, you were unconscious”.

I was angry that I wouldn’t be able to go to school. When I was crying, a doctor come and tell me “Excellent take it easy, everything is fine, you will stay here for few days according to the exam we did and the mechanism of accidents, It didn't harm you too much, you are a very really lucky man. After few days I was discharged at the hospital and I am very thankful because I survived.

The lesson that I want to share with you from my testimony is : a car hit me because I didn’t obey traffic rules as I was not aware of safety behavior on the street. Can you put all blame on me? Absolutely no, Firstly,I was just a kid of 13 years of age who never had any lesson about road safety in primary schools. Secondly, the driver was to fast as result road crashes occurred. Road user, road, environment and vehicles are component that interact between them and affect Road crashes. Vehicles and Environment, need to be designed and managed in way that minimizes the risk of injury and death if crash occurs. Last but not least I believe the education is the key to prevent road crashes, imagine how wonderful would it be if road safety was taught since nursery school. There would be highly reduced road crashes incidences.

Now I hold bachelor degree and I decide to join Vision Zero Youth Council Rwanda to help those young who always die on road yet most of those crashes are avoidable. I hope your contribution and my contribution can help us to have Halve of death and injuries due to road crashes in 2030,looking forward to have zero death at the end of 2050.

Written by Jean Rene Kwizera

Editor: Theophille Niyigena

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