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Korea ranks as #1 in Car Accident Fatalities

11 May 2000

Death rate from car accidents is 6.4 times higher that Britain and 4.2 
times higher than US

    Seoul - Korea topped the list of fatalities and injuries caused by 
automobile accidents last year among OECD countries, the Korea Non-Life 
Insurance Association announced Wednesday.

    According to KLNIA figures, over 700,000 Koreans died or suffered from 
injuries last year from car accidents, up 38.7 percent from 507,040 
recorded in 1998 and six times the figure recorded in Japan.

    Furthermore, although the total number of automobile accident fatalities of 
some 9,353 cases last year was lower than the 10,805 cases reported for 
Japan, the nation's death rate of 8.3 persons per 10,000 automobiles far 
exceeded the Japanese rate of 1.4.

    Consequently, the nation's rate of deaths from car accidents tops all OECD 
countries and is 6.4 times that of Britain and 4.2 times that of the United 

    The report stated that while the number of insured automobiles in Korea 
grew just 4.7 percent last year to total 10.31 million units, the number of 
accidents increased 38.4 percent to 493,965 cases.

    The association attributed the rise in automobile accidents and fatalities 
to an increased circulation of cars and sale of recreational vehicles 
following the nation's recovery from its economic crisis.

    As a result, injuries and fatalities from car accidents have been steadily 
rising, posting 321,009 in 1992 and reaching 484,701 by 1997.

    Nonetheless, the fatality rate has decreased substantially from its high of 
22.2 persons per 10,000 cars in 1992.

    There are 29 member countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation 
and Development (OECD), which includes most of the Western European 
countries, the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, and Korea.