In a country where reckless drivers are defined as "monsters," as one famous road safety campaign refers to them, reckless driving is the most common cause of traffic accidents. On the other hand, blind spots are also blamed for fatal crashes; thousands per year, according to statistics, and are considered the one of the leading causes of traffic accidents, along with driver and pedestrian errors and several other factors that contribute to the number of accidents each year.
Authorities have long been struggling to keep our roads "spotless" and in the past 12 years, 1,287 blind spots were rehabilitated to increase road safety. This year, the state-run authority that oversees the country's vast highway network - the General Directorate of Highways - aims to improve 130 more blind spots this year.
As a country notorious for poor driving and frequent traffic safety violations ranging from ignoring red lights to illegally passing other vehicles on unsafe or narrow roads, Turkey has seen a gradual increase in the number of casualties linked to traffic accidents and deaths on the road. Last year, more than 3,200 people died and hundreds of thousands were injured on highways across Turkey - staggering numbers compared to the more than 78 million people who live here. The majority of accidents were caused by speeding, with red light violations named as the second leading cause of all accidents. Drunk driving also resulted in 3,235 accidents, according to figures. Turkey's most densely populated city of Istanbul, with more than 17 million residents, tops the list with the most accidents, followed by Ankara and İzmir. Despite the enactment of new safety measures and awareness campaigns aimed to curb reckless driving in recent years, traffic accidents are still very common in Turkey.
Blind spots are attributed to a number of factors such as sudden sharp turns which block driver visibility of oncoming traffic, poor visibility at junctions and inadequate warning signs at intersections. A driver's ability to eliminate blind spots remains crucial in Turkey, as the highway authority continues expanding highways across the country. From 2003 to 2015, authorities improved road conditions in 1,287 locations as well as other spots with a high potential for accidents. Automated barriers were also installed at 57 grade crossings, which are also prone to deadly accidents. This year, 130 blind spots will go under construction, along with new signs being placed at dangerous crossroads to warn drivers of hazardous conditions.
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, in office for more than a decade, continues to prioritize the improvement of Turkey's highways and boasts the construction of a network of 24,280 kilometers of divided highways for better, safer roads in 75 cities.
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