In a shocking incident on Monday, January 8, Adebayo Padmore, a driver with LagRide, a Lagos State-owned ride-sharing app, collapsed and died in the Lekki area of the state. The National Deputy President of the Amalgamated Union of app-based transporters of Nigeria, Padmore was about to commence work when the tragedy unfolded.
According to Jossy Adaraniwon, the spokesperson for the union, Padmore, in his mid-40s, had opened his car bonnet to check the engine oil when he collapsed on the spot. Despite swift efforts to rush him to the hospital, Padmore did not survive. The medical report obtained later attributed his death to cardiac arrest, associated with fatigue and accumulated stress.
The union, pointing to the challenging working conditions of ride-hailing companies in Nigeria, emphasized that Padmore’s death was not unrelated to the pressure and demands of the job.
The deceased was laid to rest in his hometown in Oyo State on Thursday, following this unfortunate incident.
A Driver’s Tragic End: Lessons for Improving Work Safety in Ride-Hailing
The sudden death of Adebayo Padmore, a LagRide driver and union leader, casts a stark spotlight on the often-overlooked issue of work safety in Nigeria’s booming ride-hailing industry. Padmore’s collapse is attributed to cardiac arrest, allegedly linked to the “hostile” working conditions prevalent in the sector. This tragedy demands a critical examination of these conditions and actionable steps to prevent similar losses of life.
Stress and Fatigue: Recipe for Disaster:
Adaraniwon’s allegations paint a disturbing picture. High commissions, low fares, and unrealistic daily targets are said to drive drivers to extreme lengths, putting in prolonged hours under immense pressure. Lack of healthcare benefits and inflexible policies further exacerbate the situation, creating a perfect storm for physical and mental health vulnerabilities.
Work Safety Measures for Ride-Hailing Drivers:
To avoid repeating such tragedies, a multi-pronged approach is necessary. Here are some critical steps:
- Regulation and Fair Practices:
– Government intervention: Enacting regulations to cap commissions, establish minimum fares, and limit working hours.
– Collaborative approach: Fostering dialogue between companies, drivers, and unions to develop fair policies and safety protocols.
- Health and Wellness Support:
– Mandatory health insurance: Ensuring drivers have access to affordable healthcare for proactive and reactive needs.
– Stress management programs: Providing resources and training to manage job-related stress and fatigue.
- Technological Solutions:
– Fatigue detection systems: Implementing AI-powered tools to monitor driver fatigue and prevent extended driving hours.
– Automated reminders for breaks: Utilizing app features to remind drivers to take breaks and prioritize safety.
- Driver Empowerment and Awareness:
– Union support: Strengthening unions to advocate for drivers’ rights and raise awareness about work safety issues.
– Training on self-care: Educating drivers on recognizing stress, managing fatigue, and setting healthy work boundaries.
Padmore’s death is a tragic reminder that human lives are at stake in the race for ride-hailing profits. Prioritizing driver safety and well-being must no longer be an afterthought. By implementing these measures, we can honor Padmore’s memory and build a safer, more sustainable future for all ride-hailing drivers.