Romania has the highest number of traffic deaths in Europe.
This summer, a series of pile-ups on a busy highway that goes to the Black Sea have made headline news.
They have also prompted the question: Why is there so much bad driving?
Digi24 took a drive through the busy Romanian capital and then down the “Highway to the Sun” to the coast with a road safety specialist to analyze the way motorists drive and what they do wrong.
The specialist, Emil Răzvan Gâtej, pointed out the first mistake before the team had even left the capital. A motorist overtook their vehicle and drove over a continuous line, a traffic violation.
Mr Gâtej who has a doctorate in psychology is a specialist in road safety and defensive driving.
He summed up the Romanian motorist whose driving can cause accidents: “He is emotionally immature, and is under the impression that driving is a game which he has to win.”
He said that Romanian roads were dangerous because of these kind of motorists.
“We have very big problems in this area. They don’t put themselves in the other person’s place. They don’t think that the one coming out of one lane would need to join the traffic.”
“He is a driver who cannot stand to be defeated. He’s emotionally immature and proud. He’s also aggressive.”
More than 1,800 people died in traffic accidents in Romania 2019. Excessive speed causes 17.2% of road accidents, followed by undisciplined cyclists. Not giving pedestrians priority when crossing the road, and illegal overtaking maneuvers are other reasons.
On July 16, dozens of cars and more than a 150 people were involved in a series pile-ups on the Black Sea highway. Police blame the accidents on excessive speed and a failure to adapt to weather conditions.