The year ended recording a large number of accidents due to man-made reasons like drunk driving, fatigue and negligence. According to statistics released by the Traffic Police Headquarters, last year 3,087 deaths occurred out of 2,909 fatal accidents. This was against the 2016 figures in which 2,961 were killed in 2,798 fatal accidents. Figures compiled [...]


Fatal accidents growing deadlier


Fatal accidents killed more people last year despite a drop in accidents.

A recent accident in Madampe. Pic by K. Jayaratne Wickramaarachchi

Tragically, more than two-thirds of the deaths were due to negligence and could have been avoided, traffic police said.

A total of 3087 deaths resulted from 2909 fatal accidents last year; in the previous year, 2961 people died in 2798 fatal accidents.

Most people died in motorcycle accidents, with 169 of the 1092 accidents being pillion riders, figures compiled up to November show.
The second highest deaths on roads involved pedestrians, with 840 losing their lives.
In addition, 263 cyclists and 222 drivers were killed.
Drunken driving and overloading – the latter common in Colombo outskirts – were the two main reasons for accidents during the festive season, police media spokesman Superintendent Ruwan Gunasekara said.

Sixty per cent of deaths could be averted if pedestrians and drivers were more careful while travelling, he said. Driver fatigue was also a major concern.

Safety depended on drivers and pedestrians being alert and cautious, the condition of vehicles and road and rigorous enforcement of traffic laws, Superintendent Gunasekara said.

“The five factors are inter-related and if one factor fails, accidents will be caused,” he said, calling on police and the justice system to uphold the strict laws against major offences.

Meanwhile, the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) reported 817 accident cases last year compared to 855 in 2016 – a 4 per cent reduction thanks to constant media reminders about dangers on the road, the hospital’s Head of Nursing, Pushpa R. Zoysa, said.
She applauded the fact that admissions due to injuries caused by fireworks over Christmas and the New Year dropped from 17 in 2016 to 13 last year – a 23 per cent reduction in reported cases.
Ms Zoysa asked people to act quickly over burn injuries, which could worsen if left untreated. last year Victims should have water treatment immediately, she said.

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