The Most in the World: Tens of Thousands of Lives Lost Behind the Wheel Every Year in China

November 21, 2005 Updated: November 21, 2005

China&#039s yearly traffic accident fatalities have the highest percentage in the world. According to China&#039s Ministry of Public Security, in the first half of 2005, there have been more than 228,657 traffic accidents, causing 46,012 deaths and 236,483 injuries. Guangdong Province has one of the highest numbers of traffic accident fatalities in China.

According to a report by the Wenweipo newspaper, Guangdong Provincial Ministry of Public Security announced that 5,354 cases of automobile accidents occurred on the highways in Guangdong Province last year, causing 720 deaths and 2,585 injuries. Statistics have shown that last year in Guangdong Province, this figure constituted 1/9th of the total number of highway accident deaths in the whole country. There are 28.6 deaths from car accidents for every 100 kilometres of highways in Guangdong.

The number of highway accidents per 100 kilometers in Guangdong Province is five times higher than the amount of accidents on regular roads, and ten times higher than in the United States. For every 10,000 cars, the number of China&#039s automobile accident fatalities is even higher than in Pakistan, Russia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Research has indicated that there are 1.5 times more danger drivers in China than the global average. A large percent (95 percent) of public road dangers is related to violating traffic rules. However, the police can effectively stop only one out of twenty violators.

According to the Eastern Daily newspaper (Dongfangjin Bao), in the beginning of this year, a report written by the Henan Province Public Security Traffic Police showed that in 2004, 41.96 percent of fatal accidents were caused by drivers with less than 3 years of experience. New drivers, in reality, have become “road killers”.

A four-year driving school instructor indicated that the main cause of new drivers getting into accidents is their lack of proficiency and weak safety conscience. After analyzing the reasons of why new drivers get into accidents, the departments in charge believe that the majority of new drivers have only grasped the most basic driving skills. They are not familiar with vehicle conditions, environment, or road conditions. They also lack necessary experience and they are inadequate at determining and dealing with complicated situations. That is why new drivers have become the largest group of traffic violators who has gotten involved in accidents.