Traffic accidents proved increasingly deadly this year in Russia despite a slight decrease in the overall number of collisions, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Monday in comments carried by state news agency TASS.
Between January and September, there were 146,179 road accidents in Russia, a decrease of 338 collisions compared with the same period last year, according to the country's traffic safety police.
But 1 percent more lives were claimed by traffic crashes year-on-year, Shuvalov said.
He cited an increase in the number of cars on Russian roads as a potential explanation, TASS reported. "On one hand, these figures demonstrate that there have not been many changes since last year," Shuvalov was quoted as saying. "But it is worth to taking into account that there are more vehicles [on the road.]"
In the first nine months of this year, 19,380 people were killed in traffic accidents across the Russia.
Last year, there were 204,068 road accidents, which accounted for the deaths of just under 19,000 people, according to the federal traffic safety police. Some 50.5 millions cars were registered in the country that year.
The poor quality of roads, speeding, the illegal purchase of licenses without proper driving education, and drunk driving have contributed to the high number of fatalities on Russian roads.