The head of Iran's Traffic Police, Hassan Momeni, reported a surge in road accidents across the country.
During a press conference held in Tehran on Tuesday, Momeni disclosed that over 20,000 lives were lost in the past year due to road-related incidents.
Last year, 17,000 deaths were recorded between March 2021 and March 2022.
The Traffic Police head provided a historical perspective, revealing that in the 2000s, the annual death toll reached 28,000 but gradually decreased to around 16,000 in 2016.
Identifying key factors leading to accidents, Momeni underscored “excessive speed, lack of attention to the road, overtaking, fatigue, and drowsiness as the primary causes.”
Nowruz, the Iranian New Year holidays, emerged as one of the deadliest periods for road accidents. This year alone, the country witnessed a staggering 85,000 accidents and 871 reported deaths during the Nowruz holidays (March 21- April 2).
However, Teymour Hosseini, the Traffic Police deputy chief downplayed the country’s poor and ageing vehicle standards and the dangerous quality of the country's roads which lack maintenance, as significant contributors to accidents.
Additionally, authorities in Iran say that 43% of traffic accident fatalities lose their lives after being transferred to the hospital, citing "failure to diagnose brain injury or internal bleeding" and "medical errors" as key causes.