Adsense Skyscrapper

The Mad Driver On The Street – Safety Thrown To The Dogs

“The way I drive, the way I handle a car is an expression of my inner feelings” Lewis Hamilton

From my neighborhood, Abora is well known to have been taken ill and on drugs for being mentally unstable with bipolar, a disorder associated with episodes of mood swings, ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.

He leaves the home driving the children to school with abnormally high speeds and deafeningly high radio music as though all his mornings are party mornings.

My early mornings and after work is depressing seeing such a patient on drugs for unstable mental health driving on our streets everyday posing a lot of danger to his family and also road users across the country. Are we taking mental health serious as a country looking at the number of deaths we record on our roads year in and out?

Mental Health

According to the Ghana Mental Health Authority and the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.1 million Ghanaians representing 10% of the estimated 31 million total population have a form of mental disorder or another with about 16,000 of the cases reported to be severe.

Mental health is a state of well-being that enables individuals to realize their potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully and contribute to their community’s growth. It is an integral component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships and shape the world we live in and lately flying high due to societal pressures.


Driving can have an impact on mental health as captured by a new study in Spain which identified that the more time and money people spent on driving to work, the worse mental health outcomes they experienced and also captured that the more time workers spent driving, the less sleep they got, the more depressed and under pressure they felt and the worse their mental health was in general.

Driving is a complex activity that requires attention, concentration, coordination, and judgment. However, some mental illnesses or medications can affect these abilities and impair driving performance, pose risk to the driver and other road users, especially in busy urban areas like the central business district of Accra.

Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with a population of about 4.2 million people. The Central Business District (CBD) of Accra is the commercial and administrative hub of the city, where many offices, banks, shops, hotels, and government buildings are located. The CBD is also a major transportation node, with several roads, bus stations, and taxi ranks converging there with high traffic volume and density, especially during peak hours.

This city stress can affect mental conditions and cause distraction or impairment while driving. For example, depression can affect the driver’s mood, motivation, concentration, and alertness. Anxiety can cause nervousness, panic attacks, or phobias that interfere with driving performance. Psychosis can cause hallucinations or delusions that distort the driver’s perception of reality.

Bipolar disorders and similar unstable mental health situation can be triggered by hash situations in the city and cause mood swings, affect the driver’s impulsivity, judgment, or risk-taking behavior. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can cause difficulty in focusing, following instructions, or staying calm while driving.

Some medications used to treat mental illnesses can also have side effects that affect driving ability. For example, some antidepressants can cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or nausea. Some antipsychotics can cause sedation, tremors, or low blood pressure. Some mood stabilizers can cause fatigue, confusion, or memory problems. Some stimulants can cause insomnia, agitation, or increased heart rate.

Therefore, it is important for drivers to be conscious of their mental health and if on medications be aware of how their condition or treatment may affect their driving ability and take appropriate measures to ensure their safety and that of others on the road.


There are varied measures and actions available for the unstable mental health individual to tap into for their own safety and the safety of all road users and these could include consulting with their doctor or pharmacist about their condition and medication and how they may affect their driving ability as well as adhering to doctor’s advice on when and how to take their medication and avoiding alcohol or other substances that may interact with their medication.

Monitoring their symptoms and side effects and reporting any changes or concerns to their doctor while planning their trips ahead and avoiding driving when they feel unwell, tired, stressed, or emotional.

Choosing a safe route and time to drive and avoiding busy or unfamiliar roads or situations that may trigger their symptoms can also be considered and using public transportation or asking someone else to drive them when they are unsure about their driving ability or safety.

Informing the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) if they have certain illnesses that may affect their driving ability could be helpful to get the required advice and restrictions aimed at keeping the roads safe.

By following these measures, drivers with unstable mental conditions can improve their driving performance and reduce their risk of being involved in road accidents in the CBD of Accra for an overall city safety.



Comments are closed.