Humans are 90 percent responsible

Road accidents result from a number of interlinked factors, say researchers: the vehicle, the environment and the driver. «The human factor is responsible for approximately 90 percent of all road accidents,» says the study. «Although some preventive measures have been taken and traffic police sometimes make concerted efforts to increase road safety, infringements of the road rules, aggressive behavior while driving and a selfish attitude toward other drivers comprise the driving culture which we pass on to young drivers. «The way both state institutions and the public treat traffic regulations is unacceptable, to say the least. One might say there is a peculiar silent agreement between the two which is reflected in the systematic rejection of rules and regulations in favor of traffic infringements of all kinds and everyday crass behavior on the road.» The use of seat belts would reduce the incidence of serious injuries by 60 percent and of deaths by 80 percent. Yet the overwhelming majority of Greek drivers (about 80 percent) refuse to wear a seat belt, either because they think it is only to be worn when they are traveling at 100 kph on the highway or that it is oppressive and bothers them. As for the former reason, the facts show the complete contrary to be true: 80 percent of road accidents occur at speeds of less than 65 kph, while three out of four occur at distances of less than 40 kilometers from the driver’s permanent residence. The notion that back-seat passengers need not wear seat belts is also mistaken. A survey by Life Allies (a group of private and public agencies who provide information about seat belts) showed that in a head-on collision at 50 kph, an adult sitting in the back seat of a car without a seat belt will hit the seat in front with the force of 3.5 tonnes, or the weight of an elephant. He handed Archbishop Demetrius a check for $500,000 to go toward the reconstruction of St. Nicholas.

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