This year there have already been 1,678 serious car accidents, with 144 more persons injured by Tuesday morning compared to the same time last year. The number of fatalities is 49, six lower than a year ago.
"There are a few more accidents and injuries but fewer deaths. If the final few days of the year pass without incident, the number of fatalities in road accidents may remain at 48, as it was in 2017, and the number of fatalities in Estonia has not been lower for a long time," Villu Vane, a traffic expert at the Transport Administration, told ERR on Tuesday morning.
However, another road fatality was reported on Tuesday morning. Initial reports indicate that a heavy goods vehicle and a van collided in the Lääne-Viru County village of Varudi.
Vane said that the causes of motor vehicle accidents have not changed significantly over time. The most common are still driving under the influence, speeding and inadequate safety measures.
"If everyone in the car had worn a seat belt last year, for example, 13 people might have stayed alive, not to mention not wearing a helmet or a reflector for pedestrians in the dark. Drink-driving is also a problem; even during the holiday season last year, police probably arrested over a 100 drink-drivers, and sadly, drink-driving is still one of the leading risk factors in accidents leading to fatalities. I'll refer back to last year's statistics, when there were 55 fatal accidents and 17 of which were caused by drunk drivers. This is appalling," Vane said.
More accidents occur on routes with larger traffic volumes, although there are also serious accidents on roads with lower volumes of traffic. Vane said there are fewer serious accidents on 2+2 roadways.
"However, when the road becomes slippery, both 1+1 and 2+2 roads become slippery, and driving too fast or making a careless maneuver can still cause the vehicle to lose control. On 2+2 roads, however, there is a central barrier, so collisions with oncoming vehicles are rare. And collisions between vehicles traveling in the same direction can occur, with the consequences being far less severe than those of a collision with a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction," Vane explained.
These roadways would not eliminate all traffic accidents, but they will undoubtedly lessen the severity of many, he said.
Editor: Kristina Kersa