Some of these vehicles are more deadly than the others. From this spreadsheet, data via The Sunday Times and SL Police
Sri Lanka had 2,515 fatal accidents last year and 1,102 so far in 2011. Any accident is a bad scene, but in Sri Lankan they’re quite often horrific. People walk literally on the road and lorries and buses overtake blind. Everyone drives a bit mad and madness ensues. The Sunday Times has a good breakdown of stats on car accidents vs. vehicles registered, but they never get to the emergent point. Who causes a disproportionate share of accidents? It seems to be the buses. And lorries.
Number of accidents minus the number of vehicles. A positive number means you’re killing more than your share
This makes sense because they’re the biggest and most destructive vehicles, driven by the most sleep deprived people. The chart above shows the difference between accidents and vehicles registered. Buses and lorries are accounting for more than their share of accidents. Motorcycles account for a lot less.
This makes sense. On a motorbike, it’s just your body and the road, and probably your bike. Motorcyclists have a lot to lose and, though they seem to still drive like idiots, they obviously have an incentive to avoid accidents. For a bus or lorry driver, however, you probably won’t get grievously hurt and it’s not your vehicle. Hence.
It’s actually quite mad. Let me give you a few anecdotal stories.
Hit And Run And Hit
A relative of a friend was driving home drunk as the sun came out. A mother and daughter were on the way to temple. He ran them over and came to a stop. Now, in Sri Lanka, if you get in an accident, in certain hoods they will drag you out of the car and kill you. More often than not, it’s better to go to the next police station and sort it out there. Unless someone is injured, in which case you really should help. In this case the mother was thrown aside but the daughter was still in front of the car. This gentleman, however, decided to leave anyway, and ran over the daughter again. Horrifying. Thankfully, a bus driver saw and pulled his vehicle across the road, blocking the assailant’s escape. Once is an accident. Twice is assault. I think he ended up in jail, but who knows. Even in cases where pedestrians die, people that can afford cars often just pay some blood money and that’s the end of that.
Cow And Calf
A friend was driving at night, outstation. At one point the road was poorly lit and took a bit of a dip. It being a clear road, they were going rather fast. Suddenly they came over a bend and saw a herd of cows in the middle of the road. He slammed on the brakes but it was too late, he hit a calf square and the animal rolled over the car, smashed the windshield and came out the other side. The mother cow was behind and got knocked over. The friends got down, in shock. There was blood and shit everywhere, and wailing in the air.
Then they saw a van coming down the same road and tried to signal it with flashlights. The van wasn’t paying attention and barreled straight into the mother cow again. It still wasn’t dead but I think it eventually died, slowly.
So, uh, there’s some statistics.