Six people were killed and 44 wounded when the driver of a passenger bus lost control of the vehicle and ran into trees near the road between the western province of Kütahya and central province of Eskişehir on Tuesday morning.
Emergency Unit teams arrived at the scene and treated injured parties, who were transferred following initial treatment to Kütahya Dumlupınar university (DPÜ) Evliya Çelebi Research and Education Hospital and two other private hospitals.
This constitutes another rise in the death toll as the recent spike in the number of traffic accidents continues. Thousands of people lose their lives in traffic accidents every year in Turkey, and with escalating numbers of people killed in traffic accidents in recent weeks officials are urging drivers to take necessary precautions before hitting the road.
According to popular belief, most accidents take place in bad weather conditions, on wet roads and at night-time. However, a recent survey conducted by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) shows that 66 percent of accidents in 2010 and 2011 occurred in broad daylight under good weather conditions.
The result disproves a commonly-held belief, with officials attributing the figures to the overconfidence of drivers who may pay less attention to traffic rules in good weather conditions.
High speeds constitute the primary cause of fatal accidents, according to results of the survey. Moreover, existing roads are far from meeting demand as more and more new vehicles hit the roads every year, due to economic progress enabling more people to purchase vehicles. According to TurkStat, 318,000 new vehicles hit the road in 2010 in İstanbul alone. Among these vehicles, 250,000 were automobiles.
The death risk is lower during hours of heavy traffic as cars travel at low speeds, according to data from the İstanbul Police Department's traffic control department. When drivers see empty roads they may increase speeds and increase the risk of an accident.
Another striking fact is that the use of alcohol is the primary cause of most accidents taking place at night. This is more apparent in cities. In İstanbul alone nearly 30,000 drivers have been subject to penalties for the use of alcohol in the course of a year. According to officials, better controls and stricter regulations are the not the sole methods to employ to solve the alcohol problem. People should be aware of the dangers of driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. They should value other human lives, as well as their own.