Background Every year, several thousand people are killed on Polish roads and tens of thousands get injured. In Poland, road accidents are the first cause of death in case of men up to 44 years of age. The most common, permanently occurring causes of road accidents include failure to comply with the rules of the road traffic, low driving skills combined with a poor assessment of the situation on the road, lack of adequate road infrastructure as well as poor technical conditions of vehicles. The article presents the epidemiology of road accidents in Poland in the years 2004–2014 focusing on the main problems of road safety.
Methods The analysis was based on the reports of Prevention and Analysis Office of Road Traffic Headquarters of Police from the years 2004 to 2014 as well as the information included in National Road Safety Programme– GAMBIT 2005, National Road Safety Programme 2013 to 2020 and Strategy for Efficient State in 2020.
Results The analysis enumerates as the main cause for the higher rate of severe accidents in Poland: inappropriately adjusted speed by a driver to traffic conditions, careless pedestrian entrance on the road in front of a moving vehicle, the state of intoxication in case of both drivers and pedestrians, poor technical state of vehicles prevailing on Polish roads, bad roads and the lack of modern infrastructure relevant to the current consumer needs, large collisions in traffic resulting from the improper design of roads, often careless organisation, and the lack of traffic segregation, lack of the knowledge of first aid among road users, ineffective emergency rescue systems on roads.
Conclusions Despite various measures that are being taken to improve safety on Polish roads, the number of the dead and wounded as a result of road accidents is still very high and the losses incurred by the society are high as well. It is necessary to continue multidirectional actions to improve safety on the roads in Poland, resulting in a systematic increase in the level of road traffic security.
- road traffic accidents (RTA)
- road crashes
- mortality rates
- injury rates
- vehicle speeding
- traffic violations
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