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Analele Universităţii din Oradea Fascicula: Ecotoxicologie, Zootehnie şi Tehnologii de Industrie Alimentară, 2012
ROAD ACCIDENTS – ANALYSIS, EVOLUTION CAUSES AND
Daina Lucia*, Tecsi Ioana*, Chereji Anca**, Cioara Felicia*, Laslau Caterina*
*University of Oradea, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Oradea, 1 December Street, nr.10,
**University of Oradea, Faculty of Environmental Protection, 26 Gen. Magheru St., 410048, Oradea,
Year by year, car accidents have marked an upward trend in Romania, due to the
enlargement of the national car park and the increase in the number of driving licenses holders, in
the context in which the infrastructure of the existing road network has not been adapted to the
requirements imposed by circulation realities. These conditions, associated with driving errors or the
willful violation of traffic rules, represent the support of traffic accidents. In Romania, the incidence
associated with traffic accidents with victims is of 136.28%ooo. The total number of traffic accidents in
the period 2007-2011, at the level of Bihor county, represents 6.75% from the total number of traffic
accidents in Romania, the new cases of seriously injured persons in car accidents is of 2.14% and the
number of deaths resulting from road accidents represents a share of 2.57%. The main causes
generating accidents are speed, not giving the right of way and the pedestrians’ lack of discipline.
Therefore drivers and pedestrians alike should adopt measures to prevent traffic accidents.
Key words: traffic accidents, casulaties, deaths, causes, prevention
At global level, about 1.3 million people die in road accidents and
more than 50 million are injured every year (European Road Statistics 2008,
WHO 2009). In Romania, 3000 persons die annually in car accidents.
Among mortality causes road accidents rank second, after myocardial
infarction (Elvik R, T. Vaa, 2004). The main cause of death among persons
aged 5 to 29 years is represented by car accidents and nearly half of those
who die in such tragedies are pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists
(Stevenson M. et al. 2008). This papers aims to identify the number of
deaths and illnesses associated with car accidents, as well as the causes of
car accidents, with the view of putting into practice preventive methods and
initiate education for health among the population at risk.
MATERIAL AND METHOD
In the retrospective and descriptive observational study, conducted
in Bihor county in the period 2007-2011, population type information has
been collected, namely the annual number of deaths and illnesses associated
with car accidents.
The sources of primary data have been the results recorded in current
consultations, performed in outpatient clinics or in hospitals, as well as
periodic reports and statistical bulletins.
The measurement, description and analysis of deaths and illnesses
associated with car accidents have been used as study methods.
RESULTS AND DISSCUSIONS
According to a comprehensive report presented by the World Health
Organization, 90% of road fatalities occur in developing countries, and four
fifths of those killed in such circumstances are people who were not in cars
The most complete data concerning the standardized rate of road
accidents with casualties in europe are provided by world health
organization (WHO, 2009); in 2008 Romania reported an incidence through
road accidents with casualties of 136.28%ooo, among the first in this respect
being Bosnia and Herzegovina – 1042.17%ooo, Austria – 469.89%ooo,
Slovenia 449.4%ooo, and on the last places: Bulgaria – 105.53%ooo, Republic
of Moldova – 80.36%ooo and Albania – 37.96%ooo (fig. 1.)
Fig. 1. Road accidents with casualties per 100000 people, in Europe, in 2008 (Source
WHO/Europe, European HFA Database, March 2012)
At European level, during the last 30 years, the number of road
accidents has presented small differences from one year to another, the trend
being descendant, with values of 233.12%OOO in 1980, going down to
195.59%OOO in 2009. However, in Romania an upward trend has been
recorded, with relatively constant values (23.96%OOO) in the period 1980-
1988, but with a doubling of road accidents with victims (about 41%OOO)
after 1998 until 2004, and from 2005 on (91.5%OOO), the reported values are
2-3 times higher than in previous years, as in 2008 a number of 136.28%OOO
road accidents with casualties were reported (fig. 2).
Fig. 2. The evolution of road accidents with casualties per 100000 inhabitants, Romania,
compared to the European region
(Source WHO/Europe, European HFA Database, March 2012)
The main causes of road accidents in Romania (2008), according to
data provided by the statistics of Romanian traffic police, are
- Speed not adapted to visibility conditions and road situation – 324
accidents (30.8% of the total number of accidents produced by
- Starting movement, changing direction, handling – 154 (14.6%),
- Exceeding the established speed limit – 148 (14.1%),
- Crisscrossing pedestrians passages – 138 (13.1%),
- Not giving the right of way in intersections – 98 (9.3%),
- Driving under the influence of alcohol – 79 (7.5%)
- Driving on traffic lanes 64 (6.1%)
A comparative study regarding the total number of road accidents in
Romania and in Bihor county, in the period 2007-2011, indicates that road
accidents in Bihor county represent 6.05% in 2007, 6.24% in 2008, 7.23%
in 2009, 6.23% in 2010 and 6.96% in 2011 of the total number of car
accidents registered in Romania (fig. 3).
8213 9213 8742
512 654 594 574 609
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Fig. 3. The total number of road accidents in Romania and in Bihor county in the period
In the period 2007-2011, the share of people seriously injured in
road accidents in Romania represents 0.5% of the total number of illnesses,
and the new cases of seriously injured people in road accidents in Bihor
County, from the total of seriously injured persons in road accidents in
Romania represent 2.14% (table 1). Table 1
The number of new cases of persons seriously injured in road accidents in Bihor county and
in Romania, in the period 2007-2011
Year 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Total new cases of illnesses in Romania 14286645 14603827 15406810 15643281 15735142
Total number of people seriously injured in road
acidents in Romania 7078 9260 8477 9096 8252
New cases of persons seriously wounded in road
accidents in Romania at % from the total number
0,055% 0,058% 0,052%
Total number of people seriously injured in road
acidents in Bihor county 167 170 174 192 197
The number of deaths resulting from road accidents registered in
Bihor county accounts for 2.64% in 2007 and 2.48% in 2011, of all deaths
registered in Romania (fig. 4).
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Fig. 4- The number of deaths resulting from road accidents in Romania and in Bihor county
in the period 2007-2011
The main causes generating accidents at the level of Bihor county in
2009 were speed, not giving the right of way (especially in Oradea
municipality), pedestrians’ lack of discipline, carelessness at shifting the
road lane and illegal overtaking (fig. 5).
0 50 100 150
securing back driving
driving under the influence of alcohol
infringement of traffic rules by cyclists
disregarding the required distance between vehicles
driving on the wrong road lane
carelesness in changing the driving direction
not giving pedestrians' right of way
illegal crossing by pedestrians
neacordare prioritate pietoni
Fig. 5. Causes of road accidents in Bihor county in 2009
In order to counteract the main causes generating accidents, 100958
sanctions were imposed in 2011 by the policemen from Bihor county traffic
police (fig. 6).
Fig. 6- Sanctions aimed at combating the main causes generating accidents
It is necessary to adopt measures to prevent road accidents, this
responsibility being associated both with policemen and doctors and
specialists in public health, the latter being required to inform, educate and
communicate with the members of the community, with an insistence upon
the preventive behavior while driving (visibility conditions, weather
conditions, the situation of the road, traffic conditions). For complete
information, each participant to the road traffic should be aware of the main
causes generating accidents (Bener A. 2005). Health problems, such as
vision defects, cardiovascular diseases and insulin-dependent diabetes
represent real risks.
The main accident causes should be established and, for each of
these, reduction measures should be adopted. Among these one might
mention (IRTAD 2008, 2009):
- Not adapting the speed to traffic conditions – measures: increasing the
degree of drivers’ awareness, during driving classes and through mass-
media, as regards the danger of not adapting speed; increasing police
presence on roads when traffic is overcrowded or when the weather is
- Inadequate training of drivers – measures: increasing the number of
driving lessons in the driving school, where the focus should be not
only on acquiring the skills of driving a car, but also those associated
with the correct behavior in traffic; tightening the conditions of access
to the driving exam (especially the psychological test), as well as the
conditions of promoting it (increasing the number of tests before
obtaining the driving license);
- Lack of attention while driving – measures: tightening penalties for the
lack of attention, for example suspension of the driving license if using
the mobile phone without hands free device while driving;
- Excessive speed – measures: tightening sanctions for violating speed
limits, increasing the awareness of drivers as regards the danger
represented by excessive speed, etc.
Traffic safety on public roads may be guaranteed only when the
following conditions are observed simultaneously (www.international
transportforum, 2012): the strict observance, by drivers and pedestrians
alike, of road traffic rules; ensuring good technical conditions for vehicles;
the appropriate maintenance of roads; the appropriate information of drivers
as regards road conditions and the required driving regimen, by installing
road signs and, in some cases, by directing traffic.
In Romania, the incidence of road accident victims is of 136.28%ooo,
an increase of this tendency being registered in the last years, the highest
values occuring in Bosnia and Herzegovina – 1042.17%ooo, and the lowest
ones in Albania – 37.96%ooo.
The total number of road accidents in the period 2007 – 2011, in
Bihor county, represents 6.75% from the total number of road accidents in
Romania, the new cases of people seriously wounded in car accidents
representing 2.14%, and the number of deaths resulting from car accidents
representing a share of 2.57%.
The main causes generating accidents are speed, not giving the right
of way (especially in Oradea municipality), and pedestrians’lack of
It is necessary to adopt measures to prevent road accidents, both by
drivers and by pedestrians, and involve specialists in different sectors:
police, road administration, health, car production industry.
1. Bener A. (2005). The neglected epidemic: road traffic accidents in a developing
country, state of qatar. Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot 12 (1): 45–7.
2. Elvik R., T. Vaa, (2004) The handbook of road safety measures. Elsevier
3. Stevenson M. et al. (2008) Reducing the burden of road traffic injury: translating
high-income country interventions to middle- and low-income countries. Injury
prevention, in press http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications_eng.pdf.
4. ***Department of Infrastructure (IRTAD) (2008) Road accident data,
5. ***Department of Infrastructure (IRTAD) (2009), Database, november 2009 - risk
indicators. -OECD International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group,
6. ***European road statistics (2008) http://www.thedailynewsegypt.com/index.
8. ***World Health Organization (2002) The injury chart book, Geneva,
9. ****World Health Organization (2009) Global status report on road safety: time
for action, Geneva: ISBN 9789241563840.