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Deputy Minister of Citizen’s Protection on the road traffic accidents in Greece

An online event about the serious problem of the road traffic accidents in Greece, was organized by the Institute of Public Health (IPH), The American College of Greece on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, featuring presentations by Eleftherios Oikonomou, Deputy Minister of Citizens’ Protection and Panagiotis Behrakis, Pulmonologist – Intensivist, Director, Institute of Public Health – The American College of Greece.

A survey conducted by The Institute of Public Health, The American College of Greece, in 2020, showed that road accidents were the most important public health risk for the Greek public. This led to the recent survey, also conducted by The Institute of Public Health, The American College of Greece, specifically focusing on the drivers’ behavior usually associated with increased risk for road accidents.

The conclusions of this survey were presented during the event, in an effort to help solve the problem and assist the Government and all engaged bodies to better understand the profile of the Greek driver who is most likely to engage in an accident and take prevention and precautionary measures.

Based on the IPH survey, participants, including professional drivers as well, reported breaking the traffic rules such as accelerating to pass with yellow traffic light(54%), exceeding speed limit (49%), use of mobile and GPS while driving(49%), no use of seat belt(24%) and alcohol consumption(13%), all documented major causes of accidents. It has been statistically proven that the highest percentage of responsibility for road accidents lies with the human factor, under the triple capacity of driver – passenger – pedestrian and according to World Bank’ data, the financial cost of road accidents is calculated to 1-3% on each state’s GDP.

As the Deputy Minister presented, the main factors responsible for road accidents are human behavior, road quality characteristics and vehicle condition. Both the Deputy Minister and Professor Behrakis highlighted the crucial importance of the human factor and consequently the need for specifically designed driver’s education. Professor Behrakis announced that the new IPH project commenced with this survey, is to tackle road accidents through science and education; using the same method as for smoking prevention we will start from the early school age our aim to shape a new generation, the conscious adult pedestrian and driver of tomorrow.

The video of the online event and all recorded IPH events are available here.