Matatu Boss Speaks Out After Kenyans Share Accident Photos Implicating Drivers

A bus involved in an accident along Narok-Bomet road on June 3, 2022
A bus involved in an accident along Narok-Bomet road on June 3, 2022
Sikika Road Safety

Several photos of vehicles involved in accidents shared online elicited debate among Kenyans who argued that matatu drivers tend to save themselves during an accident while exposing a section of their passengers to danger.

According to the photos circulated by Sikika Road Safety on Tuesday, January 31, in such scenarios, the drivers seem to swerve to avoid the collision leaving the passengers on the left side of the vehicle to receive the impact.

One side of the argument highlighted the unavoidability of accidents noting that drivers involved in such accidents are likely to have unsuccessfully tried to get away from the oncoming truck when the accident happened. 

Those who supported this argument highlighted the fact that matatu drivers are less likely to intentionally expose their passengers to harm. 

A lorry involved in an accident on March 20, 2021 while trying to overtake
A lorry involved in an accident on March 20, 2021, while trying to overtake
Sikika Road Safety

However, those opposed to this school of thought blamed the abrupt move on adrenaline that prompts the drivers to move the vehicle to save their lives.

In addition to that, others who took time to comment on the photos noted that they preferred to seat behind the driver to avoid such situations.

"Accidents can not be explained, you may take the back seat and another vehicle rams you from behind," another countered.

Expert Opinion 

In an exclusive interview with, Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai sought to demystify the issue emphasising that it all came down to the driver's reflex.

"No driver decides to put the passengers in danger but due to reflex, the drivers drive themselves away from oncoming danger.

80 per cent of the accidents are avoidable, some of the causes include drunk and reckless driving, overspeeding, and fatigue," he stated.

He further urged drivers to be careful while on the road to reduce accidents. He was encouraged to follow traffic rules and take a rest when fatigued.

Additionally, speaking to, Branden Marshall dismissed the claims that drivers intentionally salvage themselves during an accident.

According to Marshall, a traffic coordinator and member of the Association Operators (AMO), it was human instinct to save yourself during an accident.

"It not only happens with matatu drivers or PVS but with drivers using private cars. When one senses an oncoming danger, the human instincts kick in," he added.

Branden further urged motorists to be cautious on the road to avoid such accidents. He discouraged reckless driving from motorists.

Furthermore, he disclosed that there was no safe seat on the bus or matatu noting that there are accidents where all the passengers lose their lives.

An NTSA official marshalls traffic at a past accident scene
An NTSA official marshalls traffic at a past accident scene

"It is not true that there is the safest seat in a vehicle. While others suggest sitting two seats behind the driver, I think it is clear that some vehicles are hit from the side and the passengers succumbed," he added.

However, a source from the government speaking to speaking on condition of anonymity affirmed that most drivers are notorious for this behaviour noting that during an accident many flee the scene to avoid being arrested.

The source added that most drivers protect themselves by steering away from the danger leaving the passengers to face the oncoming vehicle.

According to data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the number of fatalities increased between January 2022 and December 13, 2022, compared to the same period in 2021. In 2022, 4,432 cases were reported while in 2021 4,271 cases were reported.

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