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3,454 car accident victims in 2019: Why people lose their lives on Ukrainian roads?

Author : Ksenia Tsyvirko

Source : 112 Ukraine

According to Ukraine’s Patrol Police, last year 160,600 traffic accidents occurred all over the country, injuring 34,600 people
09:30, 24 January 2020

112 Agency

According to Ukraine’s Patrol Police, last year 160,600 traffic accidents occurred all over the country, taking the lives of 3,454 people. In general, emergency situations occurred due to the fault of drivers: they either exceeded speed or violated the rules for maneuvering

The police reported another increase in the number of road accidents: in comparison with 2018, in 2019 the number of incidents increased by almost 10,000. Over the past year, accidents killed almost 3,500 people and caused injuries and injuries to another 34,600.

Related: Over 37 million people live in controlled territories of Ukraine, - latest official census

“The increase in the number of accidents is primarily due to the fact that the state has not yet formed an effective policy for the prevention of emergency situations. The fact is that the statistics in our country are, in fact, being wrong: most often the causes of accidents and their culprits are established in a non-objective way. For example, a pedestrian crosses the road in the wrong place, the driver must slow down sharply or make a maneuver, and in the end, the driver is blamed, so I would not trust statistics at all since it does not display an accurate picture of the causes of the accident. Because of this, the state simply does not know what to fight to prevent road accidents increase, and the observance of traffic rules does not guarantee the avoidance of the accidents,” traffic lawyer Vadym Volodarsky assures.

Indeed, even mortality rates in road accidents from different institutions are strikingly different. For example, in 2016, the WHO calculated the number of fatalities in road accidents in 6,089 cases, and the Ministry of Health and Patrol Police provided other data: 4,809 and 3,410 deaths, respectively.

“The fact is that all these institutions have different methods of calculating road deaths. For example, the police count how many corpses were directly at the scene of the accident. At the same time, if a deadly wounded patient is taken to the hospital and he dies later than 30 days, then, according to the methodology, the accident is not considered the cause of his death,” Volodarsky notes.

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So, according to our estimates, given the figures provided by the police, last year, per 100,000 people in Ukraine, there were 8.2 deaths, caused by road accidents. In the same way, every 3-5 years, the death rate on the roads is considered by WHO, but it is not worth basing on these data as objective indicators: the calculations are based on outdated and inaccurate statistics on the country's demographic state provided by the State Statistics Service, which does not take into account the emigrating population. "It is worth noting that the resident population has been decreasing in our country over the past years, but the number of motorists is growing, as evidenced by the information of the Main Service Center. Therefore, the number of accidents does not decrease, but varies between 1-2% annually," Oleksandr Shvets, a legal expert on accidents, believes.

According to police reports, last year, the most fatal accidents occurred due to speeding, going to the oncoming lane, violation of maneuvering rules, and drunk driving. In total, these types of violations caused 34% of deaths on the roads. At the same time, according to information from the WHO report, pedestrians are the most widespread victims: in 2018, they accounted for 42% of deaths due to road accidents.

Related: Infrastructure Ministry planning to reduce road mortality by 30% in 2020

In fact, the death rate on roads in Ukraine is even higher than 8-9 people per 100 thousand people. A sad indicator by the standards of Europe: Ukraine is 6th in this rating. Doctors assure that the main reason for the road accident is not even the undeveloped road infrastructure but the lack of a safe driving culture (with helmets, child car seats, and safety belts) and first aid skills since more than 90% of the mortally wounded road accident participants do not have time to get to the hospital alive.

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