Traffic Accidents Still Main Cause of Death and Health Problems

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A toll road crash in recent weeks demonstrated the lack of discipline of some drivers in Indonesia, as a growing number of traffic accidents have been reported in recent years.

A resident of Cibingbin district, Kuningan Regency, West Java crashed into the rear of a truck at the 161-kilometer point of the Ciptali toll road in Majalengka Regency, West Java in mid-January.

Aan Sawaludin, the vehicle driver, was driving his passengers to Kuningan when the accident happened. Seven of the passengers died as a result.

Data from Road Accident Rescue and Traffic Accident Analysis (RAR-TAA) showed that Sawaludin was driving his Daihatsu Luxio over the 100-kmph speed limit.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the traffic-related death toll in the world is “unacceptably high”, which was pegged at more than 1.24 million in recent years.

In WHO’s report about Southeast Asia, an estimated 316,000 people die from traffic-related injuries annually. 31,234 of the reported deaths came from Indonesia’s roads.

Deaths from motorcycle accidents make up 36 percent of the total number of road accident deaths in the country. This is followed by deaths in bus accidents (35 percent) and pedestrian deaths (21 percent). Fatalities caused by accidents while driving or riding cars only account for 1 percent of the fatalities.

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Because of the rising number of vehicle accidents in the country, traffic law enforcement offices and agencies implemented stronger ordinances. To ensure traffic safety, drivers who wished to apply for licenses have to comply with stricter procedures. Also, traffic enforcers are supposed to charge violators with more stringent penalties.

A report also shows that human factors, vehicle factors, and external factors (which include road conditions) cause traffic accidents. Human error is the strongest contributing influence to the rising number of road accidents.

Indonesia’s rising number of vehicles may also play a role in the rise of road accident fatalities. However, the WHO thinks that may not necessarily be true. Europe has a rising number of vehicles also, but has a lower traffic-related death toll (9.3 per 100,000 people vs. 17 per 100,000 people in Southeast Asia).

In a recent interview, the health crisis prevention center head of the Health Ministry, Achmad Yurianto, told the media that many accidents can be prevented, provided that citizens are “willing and disciplined to implement the rules”.

Image credits: Pixabay, Pinterest

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