The World’s Worst Drivers: Nations Where Road Safety Is Decidedly Lacking

Bad drivers rule the roads all over the world, leaving death and destruction in their wake. The World Health Organization estimates there are 1.24 million traffic fatalities each year, with half of these taking place in ten especially road rage-prone nations. We all like to think that our country tops this list — after all, when you’re stuck in traffic and cut off by somebody obnoxious, there’s no better way to take care of that built-up frustration than a nice venting session aimed at the car next to you. But it can be worse, right? Not if you happen to be a resident of one of the following nations, in which case you just might want to consider public transit as an alternative.


Aussie drivers often receive a bad rap for their alleged lack of driving skills. And there is some truth the the stereotypes, for, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were more 1,600 traffic-related fatalities in 2006. The majority of these took place on public roads and involved the deaths of drivers, although several hundred pedestrians also fall victim to bad driving each year. However, things are improving, with a combination of government and car insurance companies taking initiative to decrease the number of annual traffic accidents. If you’re a reasonably good driver living in Australia, you might want to compare Australian car insurance. Because so many of your neighbors find themselves in accidents, you, a responsible driver, could very well be party to significant discounts.


Busy roads combined with poor infrastructure and harried citizens make for the ultimate driving disaster. Perhaps this is why, in a Gadling poll of 2,000 drivers all around the world, Italy earned the distinction of being the most hated place to take a vehicle out on the road. Common problems include aggressive driving that quickly spirals out of control, not to mention tailgating and speeding. Public transit options are decent in Italy, but if you must drive, do so with extreme caution.


The crowded streets of India’s metropolitan areas are not known for being safe for pedestrians or drivers. Unfortunately a report by the “Washington Post” finds that India has the highest number of annual traffic fatalities, clocking in at a whopping 196,000 in 2012. According to the New York Times, India overtook China in annual driving fatalities in 2006 and hasn’t looked back since then. This jump ahead of China arrives in spite of India’s smaller population, greater concentration of agrarian towns and lack of cars compared to other nations. Unfortunately, as a greater share of the population continues to purchase cars, the risks only increases for those on the road in India.


Although it was surpassed by India for the annual number of traffic fatalities, China still holds second place. Many of the problems are similar to those seen in India, including poor infrastructure and an increase in aggressive driving. But as the LA Times reports, authorities in China are working hard to reverse this unfortunate trend, putting in place a wide array of policies to encourage safer driving.

Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer, wrote this article. Ella specialises in providing useful and engaging advice to small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @ellatmason


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