Sunday, June 24, 2007

Driving in Korea: a Serious Note

Upon hearing that some friends will let me borrow their car while my family is visiting, I started reading more about driving in Korea. The past posts in my series have been light-hearted. This one is serious.

From the US Dept. of State website:
The Republic of Korea’s roads are well paved, traffic lights are functional, and most drivers comply with basic traffic laws. However, the Republic of Korea has a significantly higher traffic fatality rate than does the United States. Causes of accidents include excessive speed, frequent lane changes, running of red lights, aggressive bus drivers, and weaving motorcyclists. Pedestrians should be aware that motorcycles are sometimes driven on the sidewalks and drivers of all types of vehicles do not always yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks. It is safer to use pedestrian underpasses and overpasses, where available.
That phrase "significantly higher traffic fatality rate" made me curious. So I looked it up. According to the World Health Organization, Korea's traffic fatality rate is 22.5 per 100,000 people. In the USA, its 14.5 per 100,000.

One stat that really makes me mad is the number of child deaths. Most Koreans don't even have their children in seatbelts, much less car seats. It is not uncommon to see children standing up in the back seat. Koreans have 7.5 child deaths per 100,000 in traffic accidents--the highest rate in the world. The best numbers I've been able to find for the US, put that rate at 3.1 per 100,000.

So, its not just my perception, Korean drivers really are bad drivers.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate comments. If you have a personal message to me, then e-mail would be best.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...