New statistics indicate a decline in the number of traffic accidents but the fatal accidents killing thousands every year remain a dire threat for the country
Accordingto Turkish Statistical Institute figures released yesterday, 3,685 people died in 161,306 accidents in 2013, a decline of 6.88 percent compared to the previous year. Drivers made up 42.8 percent of the deaths.
The TurkishStatistical Institute (TÜİK) released yesterday figures on traffic accidents in 2013. The number of accidents was 1.2 million, showing a 6.88 percent drop from 2012 figure
The report showed that 3,685 people were killed in 161,306 accidents and another 274,829 people were injured. The majority of accidents did not involve casualties. According to the TÜİK's figures, 74.5 percent of fatal accidents occurred in cities, towns, villages and other settlements while the remaining 33.3 percent were occurred near uninhabited areas such as on highways far from cities.
As for the type of casualties, drivers made up 42.8 percent of deaths in traffic accidents followed by passengers and pedestrians, at 39.5 percent and 17.7 percent respectively. Men topped the list of those killed or injured in traffic accidents.
The statistics also showed accidents were overwhelmingly caused by drivers while only 9 percent of accidents were caused by pedestrians. Road conditions were blamed for 1 percent of accidents and the rest was blamed on faulty cars and vehicle occupants other than the driver. More than half of the 251,729 vehicles involved in accidents were cars followed by pickup trucks, larger trucks, minibuses, buses and other vehicles.
Fatal accidents were most common in August while February was the month with the least fatal traffic accidents, according to the statistics and most of them occurred on Saturdays. Most traffic accidents occurred during the daytime, the statistics showed.
Although the statistics showed a decline in the number of accidents , the figure is still quite high when compared to earlier this decade. For instance, only 537,352 accidents occurred in 2004, though the fatalities, at 4,427, were higher than fatalities in 2013.
More than 1 million accidents have been recorded since 2009 with roughly 12 people dying in traffic accidents on a daily basis, according to the statistics. Reckless driving is the major cause of accidents - both motorists and pedestrians often violate traffic rules.
The government has undertaken a campaign against "the traffic monster," which at one point claimed more lives annually than natural disasters, terrorist attacks and crimes. Yet, despite strict enforcement of harsher fines and sentences against those violating traffic rules, motorists keep ignoring them. From 2004 to 2013, over 6 million cars were impounded as part of not paying fines in Turkey where the number of vehicles is nearing 18 million.
Istanbul, Turkey's most populated city at 14 million, dominates the list of cities with the most traffic accidents, numbered at 53,516 last year alone.