Cyprus saw over 10,000 road accidents in 12 years with 729 fatalities

The majority of fatal traffic accidents’ victims in Cyprus are men, while most of those killed failed to wear a seatbelt or a helmet, data from the justice ministry has revealed.

Cyprus saw 729 deaths from traffic accidents in the last 12 years, with 571 or 78 per cent being men, the advisor of the minister of justice for road safety Iasonas Senekis told the Cyprus News Agency this week.

Police recorded 10,542 collisions that resulted in 15,173 injuries in that period.

Of those, 5,950 people were seriously injured and 9,223 were slightly injured. Another 5,687 traffic accidents were recorded without any injuries.

The biggest number of fatalities was recorded in 2008 with 82 victims, while 2013 saw the fewest number of deaths with 43 dying on the road.

“The more one analyses the statistics, one understands that the road does not discriminate. The numbers reveal some truths but only half the picture, because next to each number there is a name,” Sekkeris said.

More than half of the road deaths were recorded in Nicosia and Limassol which counted 221 and 212 deaths respectively.

Car drivers and passengers accounted for 323 of the deaths, with 60 per cent not wearing a seatbelt. Another 224 concerned drivers and passengers on motorcycles with 54 per cent failing to wear a helmet, the official added. The total deaths included 17 children aged under 15.

Concerning the factors that cause overall road accidents, the primary culprit is alcohol with 26 per cent of all accidents. Reckless and careless driving was the main factor in 22 per cent, and speed 12 per cent. But speed was the main factor in one third of the fatal accidents.

“The severity of the collision and consequently the injuries are greatly affected by the speed of the vehicles involved,” Sekkeris said.

Sekkeris cited a study on this by the European transport safety council (ETSC) and the organisation for economic cooperation and development (OECD), as well as the executive seminar for speed and speed management last December.

He added that a Metropolitan police study in London in 2019 showed that speed contributed to 50 per cent of the fatal traffic accidents.