US CONSULATE (ISTANBUL) DRIVER SAFETY BRIEFING:
“The Regional Security Office has analyzed American employee accidents that have occurred during the past several years in order to identify “lessons learned” that can be utilized to increase driver safety and perhaps even save lives or at least prevent injuries.
The conclusion is that many of the accidents—not all, but many—were avoidable.
“A number of accidents occurred when a local driver stopped, turned or took some unexpected action which caused the U.S. driver to hit the other vehicle or be struck by someone else. Many of the “unexpected” actions were unexpected according to U.S. driving standards but are quite common in Ankara and Istanbul and other parts of the country.
About half of the accidents were clearly, according to local standards, the fault of the non-U.S. drivers. The key to reducing accidents is situational awareness, concentration and extremely defensive driving.
“In the highly congested city of Istanbul, a high percentage of traffic-related deaths are pedestrians. The highest risk group for pedestrians is children and adolescents—totaling about 40 percent. Statistics released by the Istanbul Traffic Police, for example, indicate that evening rush hour (5-8 p.m.) is the most dangerous time on local highways. Not surprisingly, it is also the time of day when drivers are the least attentive.
“A number of defensive measures can and should be taken to increase the odds in your favor for accident-free driving.”