Posts Tagged ‘Deaths on Chinese Roads’
Anybody who has followed my Notes here will know that I haven’t enjoyed watching Xi’an’s roadways move from a state of relative carlessness, though not a little carelessness, to their present state of frequent traffic jams (see here and here). Many people simply comment that it is just life, just development. But as Karl Gerth noted, it isn’t just life, it is a life chosen. Though, it is a choice that has been made to seem somewhat inevitable.
However, this Note isn’t intended to go over old ground or imagine for a second that it will be any different any time soon. That boat has surely sailed. It is just simply to observe, from anecdotal experience at least, that a few years ago not only was there a lack of cars, there was also a lack of cars going fast. Moreover, while there have always been many minor prangs on Xi’an’s roads due to the erratic nature of the drivers and pedestrians, there haven’t been too many serious accidents involving injured parties.
Both cases are now changing. I am seeing more and more people driving like the boy racers of our western provincial town centres, hough this is by no means the majority. But people are beginning to accelerate with force within any small gap that appears, and overtake at speed in more and more dangerous and pedestrian laden situations.
Further, and arguably more importantly, the lack of driving skills that the average Chinese driver possesses, which were previously offset by the lack of cars on the road and the low speeds that those cars were driving at, are beginning to be felt more widely and more seriously. At one time you could at least manoeuvre out of the way, or stop, as there was space on the roads to do so. Now, those options are limited by the sheer weight of traffic. Consequently, I am witnessing more and more cases of seriously and bloodily injured people. And, I have got to say, that really is very sad. (more…)