Ljubljana – Road accidents have already killed 105 people in Slovenia this year, surpassing the numbers recorded in previous years. There were fewer accidents in 2020 due to the closures during the epidemic, but this year’s death toll exceeds even those of the previous three years, and there is still a month and a half left in 2021.
The police have recorded 14,248 road accidents up until mid-November this year, which is 633 more than the same period last year. There have been 105 deaths and 688 people were seriously injured, which is also more than in the whole 2020.
Last year, 79 lives have been taken on Slovenian roads, compared to 91 in 2019, 87 in 2018 and 101 deaths in 2017. The largest number of deaths in recent years was recorded in 2016, when 125 people died in road accidents.
“It is regrettable that despite constant warnings, campaigns, efforts of the police and other organisations involved in road safety, fatalities in road accidents have gone up again,” said Jože Hribar, the director of the Road Safety Agency.
Around half of this year’s fatalities were self-inflicted. According to the police, the most common causes of road accidents are speeding, incorrect driving direction and failure to follow the rules.
“Alcohol also remains an important factor,” added Hribar. Drivers under the influence of alcohol still cause around 10% of road accidents, and more than 30% of fatal accidents.
International research shows that recently, drivers’ behaviour has also been influenced by the epidemic and its consequences that strongly affect the society, said Hribar.
In light of the upcoming festive period, he warned that December is normally the month when most road accidents happen. December last year was an exception, he added, although that could be attributed to restrictive measures due to the epidemic.
“Last December went down in Slovenian history as the first month since 1954 without any road fatalities, which is very encouraging,” Hribar said before Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
He urged people to reach for that milestone this year as well. “Alcohol does not belong in traffic, and every accident is also an irresponsible act of an individual,” he warned.
Hribar also urged drivers to adjust their speed to the situation on the road, to obey traffic rules and signals and drive safely.