Published On: Fri, Mar 28th, 2014

Serious injuries increases, number of fatalities decreases

Roadwork and traffic jams responsible for sharpest decline of fatalities ever

WILLEMSTAD - The 2014 Crime Image analysis shows two major developments of the traffic safety: one positive and one negative. In 2013 the number of accidents involving injuries was the lowest since 2006. The negative development is an increase on the number of road casualties that underwent hospital treatment.

Thanks to the special collaboration between the Public Prosecution (OM), the association of insurers CBIA, Forensys, and the St. Elisabeth Hospital (Sehos), researchers Criminaliteitsbeeeldanalyse 2014 (Crime Image Analysis) (CBA), the analysis of traffic accidents on Curacao was performed quickly. In total there were 93.551 accidents analyzed. It covers the period from 2005 to 2013.

In the year 2013, there were 11.356 traffic accidents recorded (four more than in 2012) by Forensys. The sad share of 15 fatalities is the second lowest in the last 9 years (in the year 2012 it was even lower). In 2013, there were 2,136 injuries on the road and that is 28.5% less than in 2012 (2,987 injured). It is positive that the number of injured has shrunk significantly. Unfortunately, there is an increase compared to the number of treatments in the hospital with a whopping 40%, while the previous year 2012 had already seen an increase of 22%. So there were fewer traffic deaths, but their injuries increasingly necessitate hospital treatment.

The number of accidents in which there were regrettable one or more injuries has otherwise strongly decreased. In 2013 there were 1,560 traffic accidents. That is, with respect to 2012, a decrease of 34%. The researchers from the CBA indicate the many roadworks as on one of the two causes of the decline in the number of traffic accidents with injuries. Broken roads have served as obstacles, which slowed speeding cars or traffic was diverted on narrow roads. The decrease in traffic accidents with injury was big on Arubastraat (-50%), which has been partially closed due to work on the Juliana Bridge for much of the year. The work on the bridge had also a positive effect on road safety on the Schottegatweg South (-52​​% injury crashes) and Nijlweg (-36% of injury accidents). On the Road to West Point several roadwork also had a positive effect: 40% fewer accidents with injuries.

The traffic jams are the second cause of the dramatic fall in accidents with injuries. The Santa Rosaweg saw that number go down by as much as 58%, on the Franklin D. Rooseveltweg by 45% and the Caracasbaaiweg by 37%. Traffic jams are a source of annoyance for motorists, but have a favorable effect on the road safety. That people are going to detour traffic jams also comes forward from the CBA report. Because of the decrease of traffic on the major motorways, there is a rise in the number of accidents with injuries on e.g. Admiral Doormanweg (+33%) and the Snipweg (+43%).

For the year 2014 it is expected that the number of traffic incidents will increase again on roads where maintenance is completed. Precisely because these roads are in new condition, motorists will be able to pick up their old behavior. The researchers warn that without additional measures injury crashes on those roads will exceed that of 2012. Measures should primarily be sought in limiting speed, preventing cars from passing other cars at dangerous road sections, and keeping adequate distance from the vehicle ahead. The researchers expect a decrease in the number of injury accidents where road maintenance is continued or initiated, this year.

The prosecution and the CBIA invite public and private partners to synchronize their traffic behaviour and traffic measures on the insights received from this accident analysis.

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