With autumn on the road, there is a growing need to be seen. Pedestrians are required to wear reflective material elements for three years and, according to BESIP, the regulation has paid off. There were significantly fewer accidents in the Zlín Region.
Two bikers died during one weekend in the Vsetín area, both were 26 years old. A 77-year-old woman died in Slusovice and was hit by a passing truck.
Altogether twelve crosses were added to roads in the Zlín Region this year. The upcoming autumn and winter periods may significantly worsen the statistics. Experts warn of early dimming and frequent fogging.
"Decreased visibility is a very common cause of accidents," regional police spokeswoman Lenka Javorkova confirmed.
The situation in the Zlín Region has improved significantly in the last three years when pedestrians are obliged to wear reflective elements outside the municipality.
"The number of accidents in which they were involved has dropped significantly," BESIP Regional Coordinator Zdeněk Patík pointed out.
The improvement of the situation is also evidenced by the fact that there were no "invisible" pedestrians among this year's traffic accident victims. But among the injured, yes.
At the end of September, the police registered 115 traffic accidents with pedestrians. Of these, 34 clashes took place under reduced visibility. But only one accident happened outside the village when the pedestrian did not have mandatory reflective tape elements. A bicycle man knocked him down the bike path.
It is worth mentioning, however, that two other pedestrians suffered injuries in poor visibility within the village, although in places where there was no public lighting.
"I would very much like the obligation to wear reflective elements to extend to municipalities or across the board. Luckily, clothing manufacturers are also taking it, reflectors are increasingly visible," says Patík.
Drivers do not address poor lighting or poor vision
However, the obligation to be seen is often not respected by drivers. "One-eye cars, which some of the lights do not illuminate, you meet several dailies," confirmed Patík.
This is one of the reasons why a preventive security event aimed at correctly adjusted headlamps has recently taken place across the Republic. It was joined by services that offered the service to motorists for free.
In cooperation with BESIP, it takes place regularly, always in the autumn, when the issue of lighting is more current. The spare bulb is no longer part of the obligatory equipment and the excuse that it has broken right now and the driver is heading for service is more than normal.
But the drivers themselves have to see. During the summer, free sight-seeing took place in several places in the country, and in Zlín the participants could take part in the Barum Rally in August and again before the end of September. Several hundred people took the opportunity. It was a simple eyesight test on a special screening device that revealed whether the person could see well from a distance on the left, right and both eyes simultaneously.
The results confirmed what across the country. They see well 58 percent of those tested, while 14 percent of them should not sit behind the wheel at all. And less than a third should not drive without glasses or contact lenses.
"Every meter that the driver cannot see determines the speed of the reaction and whether it causes an accident," Patík pointed out.
The worst situation is in the age group for over 35 years. At that time, vision begins to deteriorate large sections of the population. However, people get used to the gradual deterioration of vision, and until they begin to limit it, they do not solve it and often come to the eye doctor late.
"It happens that on the first visit to the office one has two and a half dioptres without knowing it. A big problem may be, for example, the cataract of which he does not know, or the consequences of injuries or strokes," said Jana Strnadová, an ophthalmologist from Vsetín.
This year, the police register 3,336 accidents in the Zlín Region. Of these, 12 were fatal and 86 people suffered serious injuries. When comparing the same periods, from January to the end of September, this is at least the last four years.
The most victims were those nine months in 2017 when 21 people died on the roads in the Zlín Region. The number of seriously injured was again the highest in 2016. At that time it was 149 people.
The number of slightly wounded practically does not change, but always slightly exceeded a thousand.
Positive information is provided by statistics on the number of accidents involving alcohol. Also, this year is the least for the period under review. Out of the total number, there were 185.