EghtesadOnline: The death rate in road accidents in Iran climbed by 16% in the first four months of the current fiscal year (March 21-July 22), although intercity travel restrictions remain in place due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Data released by the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization reveal that 5,633 people died in road accidents during the period, which show an increase compared with the road death toll was 4,858 in the corresponding period of last year.
LMO’s charts indicate that men accounted for more than 80% of all fatalities, totaling 4,522 people.
Fars led all provinces with 446 road deaths, followed by Sistan-Baluchestan (388) and Khorasan Razavi (367).
A closer review indicates that the road fatality rate in Fars was up 20.2% compared with the death toll of 371 in the same period of last year.
Similarly, figures in Sistan-Baluchestan show a tremendous 59.7% rise, as road deaths increased from last year’s 243 to 371. The death rate in Khorasan Razavi registered a 28.8% increase, from 285 a year ago to 367.
Ilam, Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad and Qom provinces had the lowest rates with 34, 70 and 80 deaths respectively during the period.
Ilam and Qom provinces have respectively recorded a 2.9% and 24.5% decline in road deaths. The figure, however, rose by 11% in Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad Province.
Monthly comparisons also illustrate a 9.3% increase in road mortalities. During the month ending July 22, 1,504 people lost their lives in car accidents, while the year-ago month figure was 1,376.
Domestic automakers have long been criticized by traffic police for their substandard products and their passivity in the face of road crashes.
For years, automobile customers have chastised local manufacturers for the poor quality of their vehicles, but their objections have gone nowhere.
LMO previously released a report on the impact of SAIPA's small city car Pride in road fatalities.
According to the research, road accidents claimed the lives of 206,049 people over an 11-year period ending March 2019, with Pride accounting for 34% of those killed.
SAIPA says it sold over 7 million Prides since its production started in 1993 in Iran. Pride was based on a Kia Motor hatchback from the 1980s, the production of which was halted by the South Korean firm in 2000.
The same level of concern pertained to the low-quality Peugeot 405 model made by Iran Khodro Company.
Although these models were excluded from the automakers’ production list in August 2020, they are still plying the country’s roads and claiming innocent lives.
Dilapidated vehicles used in the public transportation fleet, especially urban and inter-city buses, have a big share in road accidents.
According to ex-roads minister, Mohammad Eslami, sleep-deprivation, speeding, overtaking from the wrong side, running a red light, talking on cellphone, text messaging and munching behind the wheel, together with the low quality of vehicles and roads, are the main factors leading to road crashes.
Motorcyclists and their dangerous driving habits considerably contribute to the rising number of road victims.
Motorbikes are used for moving parcels and passengers in Iran and have been a major nuisance to urban residents, because most bikers disregard road safety rules.
Unsafe driving, including those who enter sidewalks, endangers the life of both motorcycle drivers and pedestrians. The High Council for Coordination of Urban Traffic had earlier declared that motorcyclists are involved in almost 80% of the road mishaps and they account for around 46% of road fatalities.
Last year, the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development released the result of its road analysis, saying the country has over 5,400 accident-prone areas, more than half of which are in urban areas.
In a bid to help safeguard lives, an application was launched to notify drivers of danger before getting close to accident-prone areas.
The app notifies them 800 meters before reaching those areas.
Despite the unrelenting efforts, stringent driving rules, hefty penalties for lawless drivers, bigger and broader roads, new highways and underpasses, the dire situation remains unchanged and people continue to die in road mishaps.