1.0 road crashes is 5.6% of the GDP,


This project expounds research
findings regarding road safety issues in Nairobi, Kenya. The aim of this
project is to learn how data analysts/traffic police officers collect data and
what kind of data they record in a particular incident or accident. This will
help the police/government minimize the amount of injuries and deaths related
to road accidents within Kenya, and hopefully other African countries will adopt
these solutions.

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According to the National Transport
Safety Authority (NTSA) an estimated 3,000 deaths from road crashes occur
annually in Kenya. The economic cost of road crashes is 5.6% of the GDP, which
is 300 billion Kenyan shillings annually (www.ntsa.go.ke).

For this research to be carried out
a few interviews took place – these interviews involved traffic police
officers, the deputy inspector general of police (DIG) and the officer
commanding police division (OCPD), on what methods they use to carry out data
analysis after an accident. Once this data has been compiled it will then be provided
on software known as Tableau which helps show data analysis.

Background of the Study

Road accidents have an enormous
impact to citizens, as they are sudden and violent and often lead to both
physical and mental damage. This affects the general population, and in turn
the government, in terms of healthcare and provision. Kenya, in East Africa is
ranked among the countries with poor road safety standards, based on a 2017 WHO
(World Health Organization) report which was based on road safety globally
(Joseph Muraya, 2017). The age groups that was most affected in terms of
fatalities was between 20-44 years, with the peak age being 30-34.  Nairobi County was also the county with the
most fatal crashes in 2017, recording a total of 670 deaths, with a majority of
497 being pedestrians. The accidents are caused by many factors including drunk
driving, bad roads, and motorists failing to obey road regulations, among other

2.1 Aims and

To provide the government of Nairobi with the necessary
information in the form of data analysis, to help reduce the number of road

To help traffic police and data analysts in Nairobi County
establish enhanced safety protocols for motorists.

To determine how
useful data
analysis and big data can be, especially in traffic related

To establish how substance abuse such as alcohol can influence
accident rates among motorists in Nairobi.

To determine the budget of implementing enhanced systems and
building better roads.

To show data analysis via software known as Tableau.

The importance and significance of Data Visualization

Data visualization is a
representation of data in a visual manner such as in graph form, XY plot
(scatter plot), a heat map or something equivalent with a main goal of making
the data easy to digest and make the analyst, consumer or marketer understand the
patterns easier and getting insights from the data itself (Julie Steele, 2010).  Data analysis tools are the main foundation
for any digital business, as they allow businesses to understand what the
customers are doing on the website or app, therefore an accurate tracking of
their actions within the data analytics tool is essential for any online

Data visualization allows to get to
the core of the data which helps unveil some patterns that cannot be easily
grasped/deciphered by just looking at something for e.g. a table, and helps
connect a lot of data sources in to one single place therefore allows analysis,
which can be very demanding if performed individually.

Data Analytic tools are very
important as they are critical components which enable better understanding of
data, such tools include:

Google analytics: Like MixPanel, Google Analytics provides traditional
data analytics as the main focus is key metrics such as user activity overtime,
and how much time is spent on things for example a app or website.

Google tag manager:  Is
a simple and reliable tag management system which integrates easily with
existing systems and is useful for tracking and analytics on websites.

Adobe Analytics: This is a leading solution for applying
real time analytics and detailed segmentation across marketing channels.

Kiss Metrics: Is what is called a behavioural analytics
system and assigns website visitors unique ID’s.

Mix panel: Like Google Analytics, MixPanel as well provides
traditional data analytics.

Tableau: Tableau is a data visualization software focused on
business intelligence

Drip: Is one of the first email platforms to bring marketing

Optimizely: Enables businesses to deliver continuous
experimentation and personalization across websites and connected devices.

Big Data and how it helps towards gaining large amounts of information

Big data represents an inflection
point between what we have always done, and a new art of the possible, and this
new art of the possible is happening because data is exploding in volume all
across the internet connected world, it is classified into the V’s which are
volume, velocity variety, value and veracity (George
Dyson, 2013). Big data enables organizations to learn
new methods and understand their customers, and in turn helping the
organization explore untapped areas of the business, big data does have some
infrastructure demands that organizations can apply due to the need of
thousands of servers and having the work distributed to achieve the required

Limitations of the Study

This study was limited as there
were occasions during interviews when respondents were unwilling to provide
information, especially on the sensitive topic of road accidents. There was suspicion
that this information was going to be used in an inappropriate manner although
a consent form and approval letter were used to help attain the interview (see appendix); in addition, it was difficult
to access these respondents due to poor weather conditions.

Improvements that can be made to ensure maximum road safety

Road accidents in general cannot be
completely prevented, but measures can be taken to ensure a good amount of
reduction in these accidents. Recently the NTSA (National Transport and Safety
Authority) has been working towards curbing accidents by installing traffic
cameras on many of the busy roads in Nairobi and various sub counties. This
will enable them to apprehend traffic offenders and reckless drivers. Drunken
driving is also one of the biggest causes of accidents, therefore the NTSA has
begun introducing breathalyzers to identify drunk drivers. Known as the
AlcoBlow handheld breath control tester, it is an efficient way to see whether
a person has consumed alcohol more than the legal limit.


Passenger Service Vehicles in Kenya
are notorious for reckless driving and ignorance when it comes to observing
traffic laws, and are involved in a majority of the road accidents that occur
within Nairobi.

Because of this there has recently
been a night travel ban introduced for PSVs, in order to decrease the number of
accidents that occur at night. NTSA has also rolled out an enforced set of
rules for driving schools to ensure rigorous training is completed. This is so
that the motorists are prepared and are able to adhere to all rules; this will
help novice drivers learn all necessary driving skills to avoid the tragic
event of an accident.


 In Nairobi, the roads are not in the greatest
of condition- problems like potholes, unmarked roads, and incomplete road
construction due to contractors not being paid. Due to these infrastructure
issues, cars tend to swerve to avoid damaging their vehicles. This can be
changed as the government can implement new ways to ensure roads are
constructed well and to ensure road contractors are paid on time to have work
delivered on schedule.


Other developed countries like the
United Arab Emirates (UAE) have the world’s best road safety measures and
excellent infrastructure, these measures together with road safety awareness
campaigns improve road user behavior. Kenya as a country can adopt measures
like the United Arab Emirates by adding radar systems to roads, instant fines
if rules are broken and introduce E-licenses (electronic licenses) to ensure
maximum road safety.

The Future of Data Visualization

Data visualization has ushered into
a new era of technology. It has enabled us to view critical information in many
ways i.e. through the use of software’s and is reshaping the value that
insights provide especially with visualization being the important aspect
(T.Palpanas, 2016). The internet has absolutely changed the way we visualize
things today, and in the future will be determined on the changes of behavioral
patterns and attitude’s based on data. In the years to come data will be much
easier to understand and won’t be very difficult to decipher which will help
organizations and individuals working in the digital field gain deep knowledge
on different types of data visualizations, now that the world will become more
interdependent the demand to create value through visualization will increase.



The data collected for time of day indicates
the highest incidence of accidents at around 7pm. It is important for the
authorities to consider high-risk times of day in their prevention measures and
to allocate resources accordingly to provide more cover at times of increased
risk. This could include traffic control measures, higher police presence on
the roads at these times, or investment in road infrastructure to alleviate
congestion in high-traffic areas.


Given that certain causes play a
significant factor, for example intoxication or lack of awareness of road
rules, other initiatives could be helpful. Firstly, a campaign of education
aimed at public awareness of the issues and to make the public aware of the
extent of these problems, and their consequences. Commonly flouted road rules
could be part of this programme to ensure all road users are aware of the law.

A similar programme could be aimed
at offenders who have broken the law, many countries operate some sort of
re-education programme for minor offenders, such as compulsory attendance of
driving classes for speeding or similar offences.

Escalation of existing procedures
such as routine stops and breath tests could be focused on problem areas
indicated by the collected data, in order to ensure they are conducted where
they will have the most effect.