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Greeks are the most aggressive drivers in Europe

30 October 2012 / 20:10:05  GRReporter
3016 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

Greece continues to be at the top of the European ranking of deaths caused by road accidents. Young people aged between 15 and 30 years and mainly men are the most likely to become part of the sad statistics. According to data presented today, the ratio is 350 road accidents per million of the male population in this age group versus 60 accidents committed by women per million of the female population.

A press conference organized by the European Commission Representation in Greece and the Institute for Road Safety "Panos Milonas" presented two of the most serious causes of car accidents, which entirely depend on drivers: distracting the drivers and aggressive driving.

In both cases, time is of the utmost importance. It takes less than three seconds to cause a road accident, which often ends in death.

According to statistics from Greece and internationally, driver’s distraction is the cause of 35% of crashes. "Driving is a complicated process. It has been estimated that a driver takes at least 20 decisions in order to travel a distance of 1.5 km. Any delay in the reaction can lead to negative consequences. Therefore, two of the most important prerequisites while driving are concentration and calmness," the director of the Institute, Vasiliki Daneli - Milona said.

Among the most common causes of distraction are:

-Talking on the phone or reading and sending written messages

-Eating and drinking

-Smoking

-Staring at billboards

-Being occupied with devices in the car like changing the radio station or the CD or regulating the GPS navigation

-Loud music

-Hot discussions with passengers

-Being occupied with children in the back seat

Aggressive behaviour while driving is a painfully familiar sight on the Greek roads. Disapproving and often insulting shouts, typical gestures and the lack of any tolerance often lead to accidents. Experts say this behaviour is due to poor culture that the Greeks, however, forget when they are abroad.

They emphasize that children copy their parents' behaviour while driving and their bad behaviour will make them bad future drivers.

As the representatives of the Institute and the European Commission Representation in Greece announced, the campaign aimed to address young people in particular, who cause road accidents very often. The presentation showed two TV spots, which will be shown in Greek cinemas in order to reach as many young people as possible.

Since the discussion turned to the financial part of the problem, the director of the Institute pointed out that the cost of damage from road accidents reached 2% of annual GDP. "According to European statistics, for each victim, there are seven people who will need medical care and medicines," she said.

Traffic police report a decrease in crashes in Greece. According to the head of the service, the number of victims has decreased by 13.2% over the past two months. Experts say it is likely to achieve the goal of reducing the number of deaths to not more than 1,000 in 2012. They, however, believe that the reduction is due to two factors: real improvements in road safety and reduced exposure to risk due to the crisis and warn that when the economic situation improves this drop will disappear.

The presentation of the campaign took place at the National Centre for Road Safety, where special equipment has been installed. Students and older citizens have the opportunity to learn about the weight of their own bodies and of the objects in the vehicle during a crash at different speeds. They can be trained and test their abilities to drive in different situations with the help of a car simulation machine and a car overturn simulation machine.

Tags: SocietyRoad accidentsAgressive drivingDistracting the driver
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