A Data Map that Shows Which Greek Regions Stay Behind in Reducing Traffic Accidents
Written by Demetrios Pogkas on 14 June 2016.
The following data analysis and visualisation was first created for The Huffington Post Greece. It was published in greek in May 2016, a few days after the Orthodox Easter, under the title ‘Which Regions of Greece Are Staying Behind in Reducing Traffic Accidents ‘. On this post I’m publishing an english version of the key findings extracted from the data analysis and the views of the data tables and maps I created. For greek readers, methodology and raw data post can be found here or on my GitHub profile page
Traffic accidents and its consequences are one of the main topics in greek media on Eastertime, as during the ‘big fat’ greek family’s most important religious holiday significant parts of the population are moving in and out the urban centers, causing an empirical increase in accidents.
More recently, the traffic accident ‘plague’ (as it has been called a few decades now by greek media and policy makers, since they’ve been an important death cause within the country) came back to the public agenda after the popular singer Pantelis Pantelidis suffered a sudden death when the car he was driving slip-slided.
It’s possible to extract several information about the fluctuation of the number of traffic accidents in Greece and of their casualties from the statistics Hellenic Police is uploading on their webpage. The key findings are being highlighted below.
Traffic Accidents in Greece, 1990-2014:
- Total Accidents (Minor, Severe, Fatal Accidents Combined): 469,170.
- Fatal Accidents (With at least 1 Fatality): 37,629.
- Total Affected (Minor, Severy Injured and Fatalities Combined): 650,957.
- Fatalities: 42,216.
- Fatalities per Fatal Accident: 1.12 person.
Reduction in Traffic Accidents in Greece, 1990-2014:
- Total Accidents: 48.23% (Compound Annual Reduction Rate: 2.6%).
- Fatal Accidents: 57.63% (Compound Annual Reduction Rate: 3.38%).
- Total Affected: 54.46% (Compound Annual Reduction Rate: 4%).
- Fatalities: 59.57% (Compound Annual Reduction Rate: 3,56%).
Main Types of Fatal Accidents in Greece, 2010-2014:
- 35.77% Vehicle Collision.
- 32.81% Vehicle Slip-Side.
- 18.15% Pedestrian Run-Over.
Main Causes of Fatal Accidents in Greece, 2010-2014:
- 10.68% Driving on Opposite Lane.
- 9.81% Exceeding Speed Limit.
- 36.23% Causes Traced to Pedestrians.
Types of Traffic Accidents Fatalities in Greece, 2010-2014:
- 66.19% Vehicle Drivers.
- 17.13% Vehicle Passengers.
- 16.71% Pedestrians.
Main Ages of Traffic Accidents Fatalities in Greece, 2010-2014:
- 31.72%, 55+ yo.
- 19.06%, 26-35 yo.
- 16.79%, 36-45 yo.
For examining which Regions of Greece have experienced the biggest traffic accidents reduction I created an Index of Performance, that measured the difference between each Region’s Compound Annual Fluctuation Rate and the Nationwide Compound Annual Fluctuation Rate in the 4 aforementioned categories: Total Accidents, Fatal Accidents, Total Affected, Fatalities.
Positive difference indicates higher reduction of the Region than the average in the Country, while negative difference indicates lower reduction or even increase compared to the average of the Country. Therefore, the lower the Region’s Index the worse its performance; the highest the Index the better the performance. You can see how its Region compares on the map below.
The Regions with the highest performance were Sterea Ellada (Central Greece) with 0.21 and Ionian Islands with 0.14 respectively. On the other hand, the Regions with the lowest performance were South Aegean (-0.16), Central Macedonia including Thessaloniki (-0.05), and Attica (-0.03).
On my data blog for Huffington Post Greece, I’m also criticising my own analysis, for the data available to determine the highest- and lowest-performing Regions of Greece span only five years and should we had data for a longer period of time we might had stumbled upon different results. Also, we may have extracted a significant drop in traffic accidents and casualties in the period of 25 years, but in order to put these numbers in a proper context we should compare them with the respective numbers of other countries, for example the states of the European Union.
Finally, what struck me as a paradox is how the Hellenic Police is not measuring separately the exceeding alcohol consumption, since it’s often being mentioned as a major cause of traffic accidents and fatalities. Categories that might be including alcohol consumption could be the ones labeled as “Reckless and careless driving” or “Other causes related to the driver”.