Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Grave day in Poland fills up more graves


More carnage on the Polish roads on All Saint’s Day.

It’s the day when families in Poland – like in Lithuania, Croatia, some parts of Germany - visit graves of dead relatives, tidy the place of leaves and weeds and light candles. The cemeteries are huge and at night, the sea of little flickering lights as far as the eye can see is amazing.

But sadly, a significant number of Poles have died today in car accidents. Since the weekend there have been 770 serious accidents causing 96 deaths and 1000 injured. Nearly 3000 drunk drivers have been arrested.

Around 7,000 people die on Polish roads every year. That’s 40% higher than in Ireland, for example, where the problem seems to have been exported to.

Among the safest drivers in Europe, according to an EC report, are the Dutch, Swedish, Germans (all those lovely no speed limit autobahns!) and the Finns (didn’t you just know Finland would be in the top group). The worst drivers are in Poland, Portugal, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Cyprus and the Czech Republic.

It’s a shame that on the day Poles visit graves so many of them seem intent on getting in one.

4 comments:

Henry Grodsk said...

The figures in the Sunday Business Post are deaths per hundred thousand of general population. This does not reflect the rate of car ownership, which I would imagine is much lower in Eastern Europe than in the west.

"Poland has a population of 40 million and a road death rate of 14 per 100,000. This is 40 per cent higher than the Irish road death rate of 10 per 100,0000."

beatroot said...

No...yes, good point. But the roots of bad driving in Poland are long and very interesting, I think. It's about the idea of 'law' in POland; it's about the way people interact; it's about individualism; about 'Kombinowac'; about the amount of new drivers; about the tragic state of the Polish roads....on and on. It's a doctoral thesis!

Konrad Florczak said...

Kombinowac or not, Polish roads are dreadful, filled with Lituanian/Russian/Estonian/Ukrainian T.I.Rs ! Plus you have to add a very important parameter : average age and state of Polish cars.

From my experience, worst drivers are undoubtfully French. But since Sarkozy is on duty, the French cooled off a little bit with excess speed & alcohol & joints. But still 5.000 graves have to be built every year due to road accident.

Konrad Florczak said...
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