The biggest danger on the highway is not speed, but alcohol, drugs and medication, drowsiness and fatigue, were among the main causes of fatal accidents in 2018, according to a review published by the Association of French autoroute companies (ASFA) on Friday.
Alcohol, drugs and medication, implicated in nearly a quarter (22.9%) of fatal accidents in 2018, are making a “disturbing” reappearance in the statistics.
“It’s a phenomenon we’ve been noticing for the last two years: whereas there had for a long time been a tendency for these accidents to be on the decline, we are witnessing a very clear and disturbing resurgence,” the chief executive of the ASFA, Christophe Boutin, revealed to AFP.
Drowsiness and fatigue, identified as contributing to nearly one in five (18.6%) fatal accidents last year, remain major factors, although the number is falling in comparison to 2017 (25.3%).
Also “attention distractors” like smartphones, GPS screens and other tablets are a source of growing concern. The number of fatal accidents caused through carelessness is growing from year to year (13.6% in 2018, as against 11.3% in 2017).