Traffic Accidents

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Traffic Accidents


accidents occurring in the process of the traffic of motor and tractor transport and other self-propelled vehicles entailing the death or injury of people and damage to the vehicle, the road facilities, freight, and so forth.

Traffic accidents and their consequences are sometimes characterized by the concept of an accident rate. All countries keep track of traffic accidents in order to analyze the reasons and factors contributing to their occurrence and to plan measures to prevent and eliminate them. In 1969, more than 200,000 persons were killed and over 4 million persons were injured in traffic accidents throughout the world. The various types of traffic accidents break down according to the official statistics (USSR, 1970) as follows: colliding with vehicles, 25.1 percent; turning over of vehicles, 19.9 percent; hitting pedestrians, 36.8 percent; hitting stationary obstacles, 5.3 percent; hitting cart vehicles, 0.8 percent; hitting animals, 0.3 percent; hitting bicyclists, 3.6 percent; hitting parked vehicles, 3 percent; passengers falling out, 2.5 percent; and other accidents, 2.7 percent.

Traffic accident prevention is aimed at lessening the influence of or completely eliminating the factors that lead to traffic accidents. The factors upon which traffic safety depends are related to motor vehicles, roads, and people. The safety requirements for the motor vehicle include both its physical operating condition and improvements in its design. The prevention of traffic accidents is primarily linked with the development and improvement of the street and road network. The use of such modern traffic controls as remote automatic systems with electronic computers and multiprogram monitors helps to prevent traffic accidents and to raise the traffic capacity of the street and road network. People, as participants in traffic, are central to developing preventive measures to reduce the number of traffic accidents. The reduction of accident and injury levels can be brought about by raising driving skills and by improving the discipline of pedestrians and drivers.

Depending upon the character of the violation and the extent of the damage, there are civil, administrative, and penal liabilities for violating the Road Traffic Rules of the USSR (1965), as well as measures of public condemnation. The following persons are accountable in cases of accidents: drivers and owners of the vehicles that were sources of increased danger; the officials guilty of allowing technically malfunctioning vehicles to be used or guilty of the improper maintenance of roads and installations; and passengers and pedestrians if their behavior has created an accident situation.


Bulatov, A. I., and G. I. Krulev. Preduprezhdenie dorozhnotransportnykh proisshestvii. Moscow, 1961.
Babkov, V. F. Dorozhnye usloviia i bezopasnost’ dvizheniia. Moscow, 1964.
Malandin, I. G. Proisshestviia i pravonarusheniia na avtomototransporte i gorodskom elektrotransporte v SSSR. Saratov, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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