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Another warning about Baltic drivers

  • 2007-12-11
  • By Mike Collier

Financial website Forbes.com is the latestin a long line of sources to identify Baltic drivers as Europe's worst.

"It may be worth taking extra care next time you cross aroad or get behind the wheel in Lithuania,Latviaand Estonia,"Forbes.com says. "Despite the decreasing number of road deaths across the continent,these countries' burgeoning economies have placed more cars on area [urban] roads-- putting residents at increased risk of traffic-related deaths."

The Forbes.com figures are nothing new as they are based onEuropean Commission statistics from 2006 and international figures which havebeen out for some time already. However, the singling out of the Baltic States shows that theirreputation for recklessness behind the wheel is spreading worldwide.

"It's not surprising that the three Baltic states have the worstroad safety records in Europe. Breakneck economic growth over the past five years has increasedconsumer spending and put more cars on the road, but without any majorimprovement to infrastructure or increased awareness of dangerous driving," thereport says.

It goes on to recommend that the Baltic states "learn from theirWestern neighbors. These mature European economies with better experience inroad safety, traffic coordination and road upkeep have been able to keep theirnumber of fatalities relatively low."