In the past, Turkey has been noted for its high traffic accident rate, especially in the two largest cities: Istanbul and Ankara.
According to the World Health Organization's 2013 report using data from 2010, Turkey's road fatality rate per 100,000 motor vehicles was 58, comparable to Mexico, Uruguay, Lebanon and Indonesia. This is higher than the 6 to 9 annual fatalities per 100,000 vehicles in Australia, Canada, other European countries, and the UK, or the 13.6 in the USA, but substantially lower than the world average of 93.3.
Alarmingly, the number of fatal accidents increased by 90% between 2005 and 2014, to 168,512, as did the total number of automobile accidents (to 1.2 million). This increase exceeds the increase in the number of vehicles on Turkey's roads (18,828,721). Nearly 89% of accidents were ascribed to driver error: excessive speed, faulty overtaking, lane changes, etc. Friday is the worst day for accidents, Tuesday the least bad. About 66% of accidents occur in daylight, 34% at night.
Many of those injured or killed are pedestrians, by the way.
During the past two decades, the Turkish government has made huge efforts to decrease traffic accidents:
—Most important two-lane highways have become, or are becoming, safer four-lane divided highways (though not otoyols/expressways).
—Traffic control cameras (MOBESE) have been installed on many highways and at the entrances and exits of cities and towns. Officers monitoring the cameras, and others in radar speed traps, can and do issue citations (penalties) for offenses caught on camera. The fines are expensive.
—In the event of an accident, alcohol breathalyzer tests are mandatory for all drivers. The legal blood-alcohol limit is quite low.
—Driver education campaigns teach safe driving and remind unsafe drivers of the consequences.
How to Drive Safely
driven tens of thousands of kilometers
on Turkish roads without a mishap,
but I drive very defensively.
Don't let the scary statistics keep
you from considering car
travel, which affords a freedom of movement unlike any other vehicle.
rules of safety to survive
Turkish driving are:
Drive very defensively
Avoid driving at night
Never let emotions affect what
more tips on how to increase your
safety while traveling by bus,
the Association for Safe International
You can have
a safe and enjoyable auto trip in
Turkey. Click to the page links below
for more info:
Highway Signs & Signals
Warrior Driving Tips
—by Tom Brosnahan