Road Safety in Greece
In LeasePlan Hellas, we believe that road safety is the most crucial principle that defines the way we move around as drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Issues concerning road safety are of highest importance within the transportation sector internationally. At the same time, large investments are made in car design, aiming to reinforce the passive safety of vehicles.
The mass production of self-driving cars is now a top priority for the tech industry, so that accidents caused by drivers’ mistakes can be eliminated. Unfortunately, car accidents in Greece are caused by a combination of reasons. Number one reason is our driving behaviour, followed by inadequate police supervision (which results to a loose attitude of drivers towards laws and regulations). Third reason is the aged “car fleet” in Greece, especially when compared to the European average and the badly maintained roads and vandalised traffic signs.
Through the last 10 years, fatal accidents in Greece have been reduced by 53% and major injuries by 55%. The factors that have contributed to this step forward, are the drastic improvement of vehicles’ passive safety, better quality of main highways and the reduction of the total number of vehicles on the road (since increased road taxes, taxes on fuel prices and vehicles’ maintenance cost have led to significantly reduced traffic).
However, despite this important improvement in numbers, Greece continues to score one of the highest percentages of fatal accidents within the European Union (source: European Union – Mobility and Transport Committee – November 2016).
More specifically, as noted by the "Road Safety Urban Areas - Country Overview" report: “Despite the significant improvement observed throughout the last decade (especially from 2006 onwards), Greece holds by far the worst performance (regarding road safety) among the members of EU, marking as well the highest number of deaths.”
Indeed, apart from the tragic social consequences of road accidents, the economic aspect adds an important parameter of the problem. According to the same report, for the year 2014, the financial costs due to car accidents (fatal or with major injuries) acceded to 48.5 billion €.
According to data announced by Greek Police (November 2016), it is pointed that:
- In 2015 there were more speed limit violations, compared to 2014.
- The number of motorcyclists not wearing helmet, ranges at almost the same -high- levels as in previous year.
- Fewer violations regarding the use of mobile phones are reported. However, we could safely state that use of mobile phones and smartphones is still very high, despite the fact that traffic police does not actively prosecutes drivers.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol is unfortunately at the same levels.
According to Traffic Police announcements for 2015, most accidents seem to source from driver-related causes. That means human mistakes while driving, distracted drivers’ attention (including mobile phones), driving at the opposite direction lanes, pedestrians and over speeding. Let’s change our driving behaviour today! Please find here advice for safety driving.