Personal car, bicycle or public transport: Study reveals Romanians’ transportation preferences during pandemic
Most Romanians over the age of 18 (68%) believe that the personal car is the safest form of transportation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the IRES-UNSAR Barometer on Risk Perception and Insurance Culture in Romania.
Public transport comes next (11%), followed by bicycles (9%).
In the 18-50 age group, the personal car is preferred by a larger proportion of the population (77%), but the bicycle comes second (8%), followed closely by public transport (7%).
"Risk perceptions are constantly changing in the context of the pandemic, and the Romanians' concerns are reflected accordingly. If, until a few months ago, we were witnessing a strengthening of public transport as an alternative for mobility and reducing the environmental impact, we are now at the point where the personal car seems to be back in the spotlight, as it offers increased safety against the SARS-CoV-2 virus," said Adrian Marin, president of UNSAR (the National Union of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies in Romania).
"At the same time, Romania is, unfortunately, the European state with the highest number of road deaths in 2019 - one more reason to focus all our efforts, together with decision-makers, towards reducing the frequency and severity of car accidents," he added.
With an average of 96 deaths per 1 million inhabitants, Romania had the highest road fatality rate in the European Union in 2019, according to figures published by the European Commission in June this year. At the same time, although progress is being made in the EU in reducing the number of deaths caused by road accidents, the number of victims of serious road accidents in Romania in 2019 is comparable to that of 2018, according to statistics published by the Romanian Police.
Moreover, Romania's car fleet was, until the first part of 2020, on an upward trend. Data published by APIA - the Automotive Manufacturers and Importers Association showed that more than 606,000 cars were registered last year alone, which led to a 23.4% increase in registrations compared to 2018. Of the newly registered vehicles, almost three quarters (73.3%) were used cars, UNSAR said.
All these statistics and trends confirm the importance of road safety programs, which can help protect people's lives, said Alexandru Ciuncan, general manager UNSAR.
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