IN CHARTS: How deadly are Metro Manila roads?

MANILA, Philippines – Were Metro Manila roads safer in 2017?

The numbers don't say so.

According to data, a total of 434 Filipinos died and 19,374 were wounded in the capital region due to road crashes, a report by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) revealed. This means that 4 in every 100,000 Filipinos died while 193 people in every 100,000 were injured.

Although the numbers were slightly lower than last year's casualties – 446 dead and 20,876 injured – road crashes still increased overall.

There were a total of 110,025 road crash incidents in 2017, 703 more cases from last year's figures of 109,322. The 2017 figure translates to roughly 299 cases per day – a number too huge to ignore.

Since the MMDA started collecting road crash data in 2005, the number of recorded road mishaps has almost doubled from 65,111. (IN NUMBERS: Road crash incidents in the Philippines)

Below are the key findings of the 2017 Metro Manila Accident Recording and Analysis System (MMARAS) visualized by Rappler in charts and maps:

1. Quezon City has the most road crash cases

Three Metro Manila cities have consistently topped the most number of road crashes recorded in their jurisdictions: Quezon City, Makati, and Metro Manila.

In 2017 alone, the 3 cities posted 5-digit figures in the number of vehicular collisions, with Quezon City having the most at 35,494, and accounting for a third of the total road crashes in the metro.

The incidents led to 132 fatal cases, 4,729 non-fatal ones, and a total of 30,633 damaged properties.

Quezon City's figures are more than triple Makati's record at 11,425 incidents, as Manila followed closely with 11,315 road crash cases.

The MMDA attributed this to the presence of busy roads within central business districts that account for high social and economic activity within the area. Traffic officials also pointed out that major road networks such as EDSA, C5 Road, and Commonwealth Avenue cut through these cities.

Going by vehicular collisions, Pateros appears to be the safest among Metro Manila cities with only 4 collisions recorded – a sharp drop from its 2016 count of 35.

The MMDA said the volume of road users in Pateros and the number of arterial roads are less compared to other big cities, making traffic direction and control more manageable.

In terms of population affected, Quezon City still topped the list – affecting 207 in every 100,000 Filipinos in the area. Quezon City is the lone city in the Central district of the metro.

The MMDA found that 6,084 people figured in a road mishap in Quezon City in 2017, killing 136 people and injuring 5,948 others.

The Central district was followed by the Eastern district which is composed of Marikina, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Pateros, and San Juan. A total of 187 people per 100,000 were affected, leaving 47 dead and 3,277 injured.

Residents of the Northern district cities of Navotas, Malabon, and Valenzuela were the least affected by collisions in 2017. Only 34 in every 100,000 Filipinos in the district figured in a road crash. Despite this, 80 people died from wounds while 343 survived crashes.

2. Motorcycle mishaps killed the most among vehicle types

Government figures are consistent: crashes involving motorcycles resulted in the most number of deaths among other vehicle types.

Some 24,000 crashes involved motorcycles in 2017, killing 247 people and injuring 12,182. Of the dead, 178 were drivers of motorcycles, 37 were passengers, while 32 were pedestrians. (READ: Habal-habal: Understanding the true cost of a cheap ride)

Motorcycle crashes were followed by collisions involving trucks – where 118 people were killed and some 1,635 were injured. Cars came after, with 97 killed and 7,681 injured.

3. 18-34-year-olds are the most affected

The MMDA report also showed that the 18-34 age bracket recorded the most number of casualties in 2017: 163 died and 6,182 were wounded.

4. June has the most road crash cases in 2017

June posted the most number of road crash incidents at 10,343 – 43 of which were fatal, 1,343 resulted in injuries, while 8,957 had damaged properties.

Despite the holiday rush, December had the least recorded number of cases at 8,090. A considerable number of people died, however, with 38 fatal crash incidents happening during that month.

5. Night time: fatal time of day

Afternoons appeared to have the most number of collisions, with the 3 pm window as peak time. Night time, however, was still when the most number of fatal crashes occurred.

From 8 pm to 5:59 am, killer road crashes never dipped below 20 incidents.

According to the MMDA, 30 fatal cases happened between 11 pm and 11:59 pm. It was followed by the 3 am window with 29 recorded incidents.

6. Accident prones areas along EDSA, C5, and Commonwealth

Among the major roads, EDSA still had the most number of road crashes at 12,635 cases, followed by C5 Road at 5,794.

The MMDA identified top areas where most of these collisions happened. Rappler mapped these below:

According to the MMDA, there were 63 cases of road mishaps in the Kamuning-NIA Road area along EDSA. It was followed by the North Avenue-Corregidor Street area which recorded 51 incidents.

Meanwhile, on C5, most road crashes happened along the CP Garcia Avenue-Pansol-Magsaysay Avenue stretch in Quezon City with 40, closely followed by the Bagong Ilog Flyover in Pasig with 39 cases.

In the Commonwealth area, the MMDA said motorists should be more careful along Tandang Sora Avenue where 80 incidents happened last year.

Safer roads in 2018?

Studies showed that several factors cause road crashes, such as road conditions and driver behavior. But studies have also shown how these can be prevented.

While several policy measures have been implemented, gaps still remain, according to experts.

Last November 2017, the Department of Transportation launched a road safety plan to reduce fatalities from road crash incidents, an update of the earlier action plan launched in 2011. 

The vision is to reduce road crashes by 20% in 2022 – a challenge both for government and advocates.

As an initial step towards reduction, transportation officials said that the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program would play a key role in road safety, as old PUV models will be replaced by vehicles that have safety features, and stricter motor vehicle inspection measures will be implemented.

The DOTr had started sweeping dilapidated jeepneys off the roads as well, and is preparing to crack down on buses and motorcycles illegally offering PUV services.

But the government can only do so much. In a previous Rappler Talk interview, Transportation Assistant Secretary Arnulfo Fabillar reminded Filipinos to drive defensively and recommended that passengers urge their drivers to follow the rules. (READ: On road safety and courtesy)

"[Road safety] is a collaboration, a cooperation among people. Everybody has a role to play. Simply following the rules is a start," he said.

With government programs and projects in place, will Metro Manila roads be safer in 2018?– Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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