Road fatalities increasing

Inattentive driving and distracted pedestrians are among the causes

Czech road deaths have increased compared to last year. In the first nine months of 2018 some 410 people have died, which is 43 more year on year. Some 1,857 people were badly injured and 19,338 were slightly injured. These were also slight increases.

Police officers dealt with nearly 80,000 accidents from January to September, about 1,000 more than last year. Prague saw the highest increase of any region in the country.

About one-fifth of accidents are caused by the driver's lack of control. Most people die in accidents when the driver does not use the proper speed or when traffic comes from the opposite direction.

Traffic Police Chief Tomáš Lerch cited driver inattention, including using phones, as a significant contributing factor to accidents.

Year on year, the number of accidents has risen every month since April, except for June. September had 64 accidents, which was a one-third increase over 2017.

The largest increase in deaths was in Prague, where 15 more people died compared to last year. Pedestrians were affected in particular. Higher death tolls were also in the Olomouc, Vysočina and Central Bohemia regions.

Campaigns to reduce drunken driving have had some effect. Police reported a decrease in the consequences of accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol. Police in the first three quarters of 2018 investigated 3,500 such accidents in which 21 people died, 13 fewer than last year.

In the past, Fridays had the most fatal accidents. So far this year more fatal accidents took place at weekends and Mondays.

The worst of 2018 may not be over. November and December tend to be the worst months for accidents involving pedestrians. This is due to people underestimating how dark it is and how visible they are, and also not taking into account the road conditions.

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