Rapid Motorization and Road Traffic Accidents in China
Shengchuan Zhao, Dalian University of Technology, CN
The paper analyses traffic accidents trends in China, using reports of China Road Traffic Accidents Statistics from 2000 to 2004, and suggests a number of practical measures to deal with traffic accidents.
China is faced with rapid motorization during the past 10 years. The total number of vehicles has increased from 9.4 million in 1994 to 26.9 million in 2004, while the number of private vehicles has increased from 2 million in 1994 to 14.8 million in 2004; The number of vehicles production exceeded 5 million in 2004, ranked number 3 in the world; The number of driving licenses holders has increased from 42.6 million in 2001 to 74.7 million in 2004; The total number of miles of expressways and other roads built has increased dramatically and the overall traffic infrastructure has improved substantially; Passenger kilometers and tonnage kilometers by road sector are increasing; Rapid motorization have resulted in the inevitable problem of road safety in China. According to the 2005 report of China Road Traffic Accidents Statistics (CRTAS, 2005), the number of people who died from road traffic accidents was 107,077, with the number of seriously injured five times higher, which is believed to be underestimated due to the economic and cultural situation in China.
The paper analyses traffic accidents trends in China, using reports of China Road Traffic Accidents Statistics from 2000 to 2004. It is found that 80-90% fatality is due to driver sides; novice drivers (driving experiences under 3 years) cause more and more fatalities while experienced drivers (driving experiences over 15 years) cause less and less, 80% of victims are between 21 to 45 years old; night fatalities are more than daytime fatalities; classified road densities and lighting significantly affect fatality rates. In addition, several causal factors are identified, at the administration (lack of strong authority), cultural (lack of law consciences, bad driving habit due to most of divers were cyclists) and technical sides. Challenges to change current conditions are also identified. Practical measures are suggested, especially the establishment of an unified and powerful traffic safety commission, the development of detailed traffic safety database, the needs to start school education programs, periodical technical training of teachers at driving school, and enforcement systems for over loaded trucks.
Association for European Transport