One quarter (23%) of road deaths in Tehran are drivers of domestically manufactured low-quality cars, most notably, the infamous Pride, according to Iran's judiciary.
“Contrary to the prevailing trend worldwide, where the highest deaths from accidents occur outside of cities, in Tehran Province, the highest number of fatalities is related to Tehran city, with 23 percent of the deaths being attributed to users of Pride cars,” said Abolfazl Nikoukar, social deputy of Tehran province's judiciary.
Deputy Traffic Police Chief Teimour Hadianfar recently labeled Iranian cars as "death wagons," lambasting manufacturers for poor quality control, particularly with imported parts sourced from China.
Iran's automotive sector, a vital component of the nation's economy, employs around 700,000 workers. Despite its significance, the industry faces growing scrutiny due to persistent safety concerns and a lack of effective regulation.
Iran's poor traffic safety record is evident in its annual death toll, estimated at approximately 20,000 deaths. World Health Organization (WHO) data from 2018 revealed that road traffic accident deaths in Iran accounted for 6.5 percent of all fatalities, highlighting the pressing need for comprehensive reforms to enhance road safety nationwide.
The statistics come on the eve of Iranian new year, Nowruz, when road deaths typically spike as Iranians travel the country for holidays and family visits.
Iranian Traffic Police said more than 85,000 car accidents occurred during the Nowruz holidays last year, with 871 people killed, one third of those, children.
The statistics were dominated by two Iranian made cars, notorious for their poor quality, in addition to the poor infrastructure of Iran’s roads.