Argentina has about five times more traffic-related deaths per year than the U.S., as a percentage of cars on the road. Each year around 7,000 people die as a result of bad driving in Argentina. Last year, there were 1,080 deaths for every 1 million vehicles. This is according to Luchemos Por La Vida, a non-profit group that tries to improve road safety through education.
A relatively small percentage of Argentina’s traffic fatalities occur in the City of Buenos Aires (just over 3% last year). The rest take place in the provinces. Buenos Aires Province is by far the most dangerous. Last year it accounted for 3,062, or 40% of all traffic deaths.
Argentina’s traffic problems seem fairly mundane compared with related trouble in China and India, where drivers are even more aggressive. But compared with countries like the U.S. and Spain, Argentina’s troubles really standout. The U.S. had 198 deaths per million vehicles last year while Spain had just 148.
Spain has made remarkable progress in reducing the number of traffic-related deaths while Argentina has made almost none. In 1975, for example, 760 Spaniards died for every million vehicles on the road. That number has dropped annually to 148 last year. In Argentina, where the data go back only to 1989, the number of deaths has remained relatively steady, except for a peak of 1,450 deaths.
In addition to death, more than 120,000 people are left paralyzed or seriously injured every year because of car accidents. If you’re interested in the topic, check out a three minute “Traffic in Argentina” video I posted on Scooping Argentina.
UPDATE: A reader helpfully submitted a link to UN data that indicate Argentina’s traffic fatalities may be substantially lower than the figures presented by Luchemos Por La Vida. Here is the link. You’ll have to scroll around a bit and search. Please see the commentaries below for more about this.