2016 Accident Roundup: 12,500 Road Mishaps, 378 Killed

YERUSHALAYIM -
The scene of an accident in which 4 people were killed on route 866, near Carmiel. (Basel Awidat/Flash90, File)

War, terror and any other nonmedical reason for fatalities take a far lower place behind the No. 1 cause of death and injury in Israel, other than illness: traffic accidents. Each day, the latest numbers from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) show, six Israelis who left their homes in the morning will not be coming home that night, instead finding a new “home” in the hospital or the cemetery.

There were 12,500 road accidents in Israel in 2016, 1,600 of them considered “serious,” the CBS numbers showed. A total of 1,900 people were “badly hurt” in those accidents. In 320 of those accidents, 378 people were killed. The numbers were similar to those of 2015, with minor differences: There was a 2-percent increase in the number of serious accidents, and a 6-percent increase in the number of fatalities.

While there are many theories as to why there are so many accidents per capita in Israel — where the rate is significantly above Europe’s average — from poor roads to hot weather, the Or Yarok road safety organization said there is one sure way to reduce accidents: by driving more slowly and “taking responsibility for our behavior and our driving. We need to concentrate on our driving, not on sending text messages while we drive, or other behaviors that interfere with our concentration.”