Why the sudden surge in traffic accidents?

The surprising thing is that this is not unusual.

Car Accident 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Car Accident 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Eight people died in traffic accidents last week, one of the deadliest weeks on the road in recent history.
Although it’s an alarming figure for citizens looking to place blame or search for causes, the unusual thing is that this is not unusual.
“What is so sad about this week is that this is normal, and the data sadly proves this,” Prof. Tova Rosenbloom, head of the Research Institute of Human Factors in Road Safety in the management department at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, said on Thursday.
Rosenbloom told The Jerusalem Post that the spike in traffic accidents is “actually a coincidence of a lot of factors that play an important role in road safety, and all of this happened over the course of three days.”
Noting the dangers of poorly maintained roads, Rosenbloom pointed out that this is a constant theme in road safety that was seen throughout the week.
Eight people died in car accidents, including a two-year-old who was struck down by an 82-year-old driving a jeep in the Tel Aviv Port last Sunday, and three pedestrians.
Rosenbloom said that Israel has an abnormal amount of traffic accidents involving pedestrians: “Pedestrian accidents have been a problem in Israel for many years. In every Western country, pedestrian injuries make up only 10% of the total traffic injuries. In Israel, the numbers are between 30% and 40%, this is totally abnormal.”
According to Rosenbloom, there are about 370 fatal road injuries a year, “which comes out to almost one per day, and last week there were eight [fatal road injuries]. The most tragic accident was the two-year-old baby who was killed in Tel Aviv. Generally, the elderly are not part of this equation, so in that it was unusual and unexpected.”
Despite the unsurprising nature of these occurrences, Rosenbloom believes that there is a psychological effect when traffic accidents happen in a short period.
“I think this will be a trigger to restart campaigns for safer driving,” she said.