Number killed in Egyptian car crashes last year exceeds Revolution's martyrs
Ahram Online, Sunday 31 Jul 2011
Accidents on the roads and rails killed over 7,000 in Egypt in 2010, up 8 per cent on the previous year, according to official statistics

New figures for transport fatalities show security crackdowns and street clashes are not the only dangers for Egyptians.

Road and rail accidents claimed over 7,000 lives in Egypt in 2010, a 7.9 per cent rise on the previous year, the Central Authority for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said on Thursday.

7,040 people were killed in road and rail accidents in Egypt in 2010, a disturbing climb on the 6,486 fatalities recorded for 2009.

2010 saw 66.8 road accidents per day, up from 62.4 in 2009. The annual total was 24,371, against 22,793 the previous year.

An average of 19.3 people were killed on the roads in 2010, up from 17.8 in 2009. Injuries also rose to 98.7 per day in 2010, up from 97.1 the previous year.

Egypt's youth bore the brunt of casualties, with 48.4 per cent of those killed in automobile accidents between the ages of 15 and 30, according to CAPMAS.

Human error was blamed for the majority -- 60 per cent -- of road accidents, although the proportion pointing to this factor fell 8 per cent compared to 2009 figures.

Speeding was named as a factor in 19 per cent of incidents, while poorly maintained roads, chaotic traffic and lax law enforcement were significant causes too.

Trucks were involved in 40 per cent of vehicle accidents in 2010, making them the primary cause of car accidents on highways.

The most dangerous stretch of road was the Qatameya-Ain El-Sokhna highway, which saw 4.0 deaths or injuries per accident in 2010.

Train accidents, conversely, dropped by a third, from 1,577 in 2009 to 1,057 in 2010. The rate of accidents fell accordingly from 5.9 to 4.3 per million passengers.

The number of fatalities and casualties also plunged by 53.1 and 68.4 per cent respectively.

Aside from the social and political repurcussions of traffic accidents, analysts have in the past suggested there is a possible economic impact.

In a 2008 report the dissolved National Democratic Party estimated economic losses of road and rail accidents ar around LE2 billion for the previous year. The loss was said to be worth 1.5 per cent of Egypt's total GDP.