Nearly half a million ‘zombie cars’ create big risk on Turkey’s roads

Nearly half a million ‘zombie cars’ create big risk on Turkey’s roads

Emre Özpeynirci - ISTANBUL
Nearly half a million ‘zombie cars’ create big risk on Turkey’s roads More than 400,000 “zombie cars,” have hit the roads after bare maintenance and repair by unauthorized services despite being scrapped, creating huge risks on people’s lives. 

According to a fresh report from the Insurance Information and Monitoring Center (SBM), more than 43,000 vehicles were banned from hitting the roads in 2016 after they had been scrapped. However, 96.4 percent of these vehicles have had unauthorized repairs and are back in traffic. The number of such scrapped vehicles is expected to reach 400,000 over the last decade, according to sector players. 

“Some of our citizens are using these extremely dangerous cars knowingly or unknowingly. These vehicles pose big risks over people’s lives as well as their wallets,” said Assoc. Prof. Mesut Düzgün, an academic from the automotive engineering faculty of Ankara-based Gazi University. 

Düzgün noted that insurance companies do not cover these vehicles, while adding that the owners of such cars made use of a loophole in the legal framework by taking a registration document showing their scrapped cars to be banned from hitting roads until they are repaired. 

“If such documents are granted for highly-damaged cars, these vehicles must be repaired by experts and the related work must be documented on the record,” he added.

Other data has shown that 24 percent of the vehicles on Turkey’s roads are older than 20. Almost three million of 11 million cars in Turkey are of this class of vehicles, most of which are behind many fatal accidents, environmental problems and extreme fuel consumption.

In Turkey, 185,128 traffic accidents involving death or injury occurred in 2016, according to official data. 

In Turkey’s road network, 1.2 million traffic accidents occurred in total in 2016. Among all those accidents, 997,363 were with material loss and 185,128 were with death or injury, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute showed. 

A total of 7,300 persons were killed and 303,812 persons were injured in these accidents in 2016.