LOCAL > 298,000 killed in car accidents since 1955

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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More than a quarter million people, 298,000, have died in traffic crashes since Turkey
began recording accident death tolls in 1955, while 3 million others have been injured. AA photo

More than a quarter million people, 298,000, have died in traffic crashes since Turkey began recording accident death tolls in 1955, while 3 million others have been injured. AA photo

More than a quarter million people, or 298,000, have died in traffic crashes since the state began recording accident death tolls in 1955, as 37 people were killed in crashes around the country just over the weekend.

Seven people were killed when a minibus flew into a canal in the Black Sea province of Samsun yesterday, raising the weekend’s accident death toll on the roads to 37 people. The accident in Samsun happened at around 8 a.m. yesterday when 41-year-old Emin Yazıcı lost control of the minibus he was driving and flew into a water canal, daily Hürriyet reported. Emin Yazıcı and seven others in the vehicle – Şazime Yazıcı, 48, Erdem Yazıcı, 20, Damla Yazıcı, 17, Eren Yazıcı, 15, Hatice Turanlı, 89, and Müfide Yazıcı – were killed when the minibus slammed into the canal’s wall. Rahmi Yazıcı survived the accident with injuries and was taken to Terme State Hospital.

Thirteen workers who were returning from Istanbul to their hometown of Ağrı in eastern Turkey were killed early on the morning of July 21 when a tire on the minibus they were traveling in burst, sending the vehicle into the way of an oncoming truck. Nine others were injured in the accident 10 kilometers away from Ağrı. Numerous accidents around Turkey claimed 17 more lives the same day.

600,000 accidents per year

A total of 298,000 people have died in traffic accidents in Turkey since the state started keeping track of numbers in 1955, daily Taraf reported yesterday. The number corresponded to roughly half the number of the casualties suffered during the American Civil War between the United States and the Confederate States between 1861 and 1865, the report said. Put another way, the number of people killed in traffic accidents in the last five decades outnumbered those killed in the bloody conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which began in 1984, by seven-fold. The number of people who have been hurt or left disabled in traffic accidents within the same 50-year span is 3 million. In the same period, 3,040,000 have been disabled in accidents. According to police data, 600,000 accidents occur each year, and an average of one person dies every hour.


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7/23/2012 1:57:14 PM

Also driving in Turkey I see children using the steering wheel on daddy's lap. Sometimes packed with people, furniture, vegetables, bags, tiles etcetera. In the meantime using their cell phones. Constantly driving on the left side of the two lanes and chatting, laughing. I also saw police using their handy's and NOT the police wireless radio! Getting a driving license is as easy as buying a bottle of water here, it seems. There is no control at all. So what can you expect then here in Turkey?


7/23/2012 1:16:28 PM

According to EU statistics Turkey has on average nearly 1000 deaths per year per million registered vehicles, by comparison the UK has 70 and their roads are far more crowded. Here the police only seem to stop people for speeding or D&D the rest of the crazy behaviour (overtaking on blind bends etc.) is ignored and even sometimes practiced by the police themselves.


7/23/2012 9:35:14 AM

While the attitude of: "no one can tell me what to do or how to drive" remains stuck in the average Turk's mind, these figures will always be very high. The majority refuse to wear a seat belt, many pack too many people into a vehicle, baby/child seats are a novelty and it's very common to see a child leaning on a dashboard while standing on a passenger or even drivers seat. Life is cheap to drivers here, especially someone else's.

two sides to every coin

7/23/2012 9:26:11 AM

Being a driver that has to do a fair few kilometers a week I find this figure hard to believe, on a daily basis I pass at least 2 or 3 bad accidents a day. Driving back from Manisa last week I saw 2 coach crashes and 4 truck crashes plus the usual car wrecks.
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