Alcohol and phones caused the most road accidents in 2018

The fine for using a phone while driving and some other penalties will be increased in 2019.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo(Source: SME)

There were 13,873 road traffic accidents last year, which is 140 fewer compared with 2017. Most of the accidents were caused by the violation of a driver's obligations, in particular using mobile phones, drunk driving and speeding, the police informed.

As a result, the Interior Ministry will raise the fines for using a mobile phone while driving and make the rules for inexperienced drivers stricter.

Statistics show it was the group of young drivers that caused the highest number of road accidents in 2018.

"Every fifth road accident, in which there was a casualty, is caused by a driver with less than two-years experience," Interior Minister Denisa Saková (Smer) said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that this group comprises 5 percent of the 3,558,613 registered drivers.

Higher fines for mobile phone use

Since many drivers remain undisciplined on the roads and go on using various devices while driving, the police are going to step in.

The fine for using a phone while driving will increase from €50 to €100 this year, TASR reported.

"The violation will also include other telecommunication, audiovisual and similar devices that should not be used while driving," said Saková, as quoted by TASR.

Alcohol is a problem

One of the things, which remains a priority for the police in 2019, is driving under the influence.

"The number of road accidents caused by drunk drivers was 1,643 in 2018 compared with 3,122 accidents 10 years ago," said Róbert Bozalka, the police corps vice-president, adding that the figure has been rising in the last three years.

The police reported 9,612 drivers under the influence of alcohol, which equates to 26 drunk drivers a day, the data shows.

Inexperienced drivers cause problems

Drivers, who have held their driver's licence for less than five years, caused up to 26 percent of road accidents involving casualties in 2018.

"We will be adopting very strict measures targeted at these drivers," said Ľuboš Rumanovský, head of the traffic police, as quoted on the Interior Ministry's website.

If drivers with only two years of driving experience violate road traffic regulations in a serious way or exceed the maximum permitted speed, they will have to undergo additional training at a driving school, meet with a traffic psychologist, and pass the road rules test again, the Interior Ministry reported on its website.

Number of fatalities declined

In general, there were four times less road traffic accidents last years compared with 2008, when the police reported 59,008 accidents on Slovak roads.

"There was a total of 229 casualties, which is 21 less than in 2017," said Bozalka, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

132 motor vehicle drivers, and their passengers, died in 2018. Also, 59 pedestrians died in road accidents, which is an increase of 10 people.

Monday is the most critical

The highest number of casualties (32) was reported in the Nitra Region and the least in the Bratislava Region (20). As for the municipalities, the police reported the highest number of road deaths in Žilina, Prešov, and Nitra.

"The most road deaths occurred last year in August, the least in February," said Bozalka, as quoted by SITA. "Monday was the day on which road users died most often, the least casualties were reported on Thursday."

Read also:Police statistics: Road accident deaths slightly declining

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