More than 95 per cent of road accidents in Bulgaria are the fault of the drivers, with a third caused by breaking the speed limit, according to National Statistical Institute (NSI) figures for 2017.
There were 6888 severe road accidents in Bulgaria in 2017, leaving 682 people dead and more than 6800 injured. The months with the highest rate of accidents were August and September, the NSI’s annual report said.
Of the accidents, 156 involved buses, a notable figure given heightened public awareness in Bulgaria of bus crashes following the August 25 2018 Svoge crash, in which 17 people died and 21 were injured after a bus left the road and plunged into a clearing.
The number of road accidents in Bulgaria in 2017 was seven per cent lower in 2016, but the reduction can hardly be regarded as significant, according to experts.
In 2017, Bulgaria had the second-highest road fatality rate in the EU.
Iliya Todorov, of the Bulgarian Association of People Injured in Accidents, said that the difference between the average for the EU and Bulgaria was startling, with Bulgaria’s road fatality rate double that of the EU average.
As to causes of accidents, where the driver was at fault, speed was followed as a factor by improper manoeuvres, overtaking where it was not safe to do so, cutting off other motorists and not giving way to pedestrians.
Commenting on the number of accidents where the road conditions were at fault, Yonko Ivanov of the union of motor vehicle training noted that every fourth crash was on a curve in the road.
The fewest crashes were on Bulgaria’s motorways and the highest on “first-grade” roads such as the E79 through the Kresna Gorge.
In two-thirds of cases where children are passengers in a car involved in a severe accident, the children end up dead, going by the statistics.
Todorov said that ignoring of safety rules, failure to use children’s chairs and “sometimes just reckless driving” were the causes of so many deaths of children in road accidents in Bulgaria.
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