April 08, 2021 12:59
The social cost of road accidents is estimated at a staggering W43.3 trillion a year, the Korea Transport Institute said Wednesday (US$1=W1,118). That is quivalent to 2.26 percent of GDP.
The total breaks down to W23.38 trillion for medical expenses and W19.97 trillion for mental treatment.
Rather than a big city, the hardest hit part in 2019 was South Chungcheong Province, which lost W829,000 in per-capita social cost of car accidents. The province has ranked first since 2016.
Next came North Chungcheong Province and Jeju (W800,000 each), North Gyeongsang (W792,000), South Jeolla (W781,000), and North Jeolla (W771,000) provinces.
Though they see less traffic than the big urban centers, they have a high proportion of elderly drivers and long empty roads where drivers may drop their guard and get into catastrophic scrapes.
Counterintutively, the administrative city of Sejong (W454,000), Seoul (W521,000), Incheon (W535,000), and Busan (W539,000) had the lowest per-capita cost of accidents.
But traffic accidents overall were more common in high-density population centers. Gyeonggi Province topped the list with 316,008 car accidents, followed by Seoul (219,966) and Busan (72,582).
In total 1.29 million car accidents took place, killing 3,349 people and injuring 2.05 million others.
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