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French traffic

Sadly, two Major League Baseball players died on Sunday in separate car accidents in the Dominican Republic (D.R.). I’ve always known that car accidents are the leading cause of deaths for travelers, and after hearing this terrible news, I wondered how dangerous the D.R. is for drivers—given two players were killed on the same day in completely unrelated accidents.

I came across a Wikipedia page that lists the safety of countries based on traffic-related death rates. If you scroll down to the graph and click one of the top categories, you can sort whichever way you like. When I sorted by “Road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year,” the Dominican Republic was listed as the 15th-most dangerous out of 194 countries, with 29.3. The most dangerous was Libya with 73.4, second was Thailand with 36.2 and third was Malawi at 35.0.

The safest places to drive tend to be in Europe and small islands where there aren’t a lot of cars. The United States (at 10.0) didn’t even rank in the top 50 for safest. Canada on the other hand made it into the top 30 at 6.0. Here’s the full list.

UPDATED: According a  New York Post article the New York Yankees know how dangerous the Dominican Republic roads are so they tell their baseball players who are training their to either be back by at 6pm or in the morning to avoid driving at night. They say it’s so dangerous because it’s a third world country where driving laws aren’t that enforced and there’s a lot of drunk and reckless driving.


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4 Comments On "The Safest and Most Dangerous Places to Drive"
  1. Jeffrey Mastin|

    Great article on safety of driving -it is the most dangerous thing we do and this information is important. I was just in Africa and can attest to that danger, but perceptions are flawed and the numbers are more useful. What gets me is that the ratings are based on per capita, meaning, all things being equal, in countries where people are too poor to own a vehicle, they will have a higher rating because they drive less and spend less (or no time) time in a vehicle. I am a surfer and I always laughed at the oft-repeated statistic, meant to reassure me, that more people are struck by lightening than are attacked by sharks. But what I really wanted to know is not per capita figures of all folks everywhere, like those folks who live in the midwest who are unlikely to encounter a shark, but who do have to endure lightening strikes; rather, I am much more interested in the pool of people who actually ENTER THE OCEAN, ok, of those people, how many get attacked by sharks:)

  2. Raymond Carroll|

    Hi Johnny, I’m married to a Thai and lived in Thailand for two years – 2002 to 2004. I have just written a blog post about driving in Thailand and knew that Thailand had the 2nd highest road fatality rate in the world (2014 -2015) behind Libya. My best tips for driving in Thailand are: always stay at a significant distance behind the car in front of you as many Thai drivers will change direction at the last minutes for a number of reasons, police roadblocks or checkpoints are notorious for u-turning vehicles if the driver hasn’t got a licence or is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Also, if driving in rural areas, never follow an over-taking vehicle, as many Thai drivers make risky manoeuvres, and although they may have enough time to pull in and avoid oncoming vehicles, you may not be so lucky. Thailand’s roads are good, in general (many road systems as good as those in Europe or America), but unfortunately many of the drivers are not. Thus the reason for the 2nd highest road fatality rate in the world.

    1. Hundredbacklinks

      Good to know. Thanks for sharing

      1. Raymond Carroll|

        No problem, Johnny – enjoyed your post! Good luck!

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