Although there were not quite as many crashes in the county in 2018 as in the previous year, the number of accidents remains at a high level. 3475 accidents recorded by police stations in bad kissingen, hammelburg and bad bruckenau, as well as by the werneck highway patrol. This is the second highest figure in the last ten years.
Eight people lost their lives, two more than in 2017. Five died in accidents on country roads and three on highways. Within the county, the fatal accidents occurred in the old counties of bad kissingen and bad bruckenau. "While in the last ten years there have been up to three traffic fatalities in the area served by the hammelburg police, a very pleasing zero can be reported for 2018", at least hammelburg’s head of department alfons hausmann has reason to rejoice. The number of people injured in urban and rural areas increased slightly from 454 to 467 people. Because fewer people were injured on the highways at the same time, the total number of people injured remained almost unchanged at 528 (2017: 529).
The fact that more people are injured on country roads at the same time as the number of accidents is falling "seems to be a continuing trend in lower franconia", says lothar manger, responsible for traffic at the bad kissingen police department. Statistically, more people are injured in one crash than another. Manger does not believe that the high popularity of coarse-engined and powerful new cars is a reason for it. "Safety equipment in these cars is also increasing", he argues. It is difficult to explain the trend. However, it is noticeable that there were fewer minor accidents last year. Minor accidents are accidents in which no one is injured or killed and in which the driver can be accused of no or only minor misconduct. "For example, we had far fewer accidents on wet roads," says lothar manger, he says.
Driving fast, many injured
Speeding remains a major cause of accidents with injuries. "With a share of 6.1 percent, the main cause of accidents is still "excessive speed", manger emphasizes with a view to the county figures. Excessive speed leads particularly often to accidents with injuries. Herbert markert, head of service in bad bruckenau, concludes that one out of every five accidents involving injuries and more than one out of every five injuries is due to speeding.
Compared to the previous year, the police’s assessment of children as a risk group is much more positive. "Fortunately, we did not have any dramatic accidents like in 2017 in 2018", says manger. In bad kissingen, an eleven-year-old boy was slightly injured on his way to school after he rode his bike too far to the left and crashed into an oncoming car. For the first time since 2015, there was an accident on the way to school in bad bruckenau – but the outcome was comparatively benign. A lumber truck rammed a passing school bus while turning in november, causing minor injuries to a 14-year-old schoolgirl. Hammelburg police dealt with five accidents involving children, but there was no accident on the way to school.
"The number of game accidents has fortunately decreased in our area, but it is still a problem", lothar manger summarizes. Police inspectorates report a 6.6 percent drop in the number of game-related incidents in the county to 1066. Nevertheless: the value is significantly above the long-term average. "Almost one in three accidents is a wildlife accident", says the policeman. Seven people injured in roadway collisions with deer. As a countermeasure, the low vegetation along the roads in the bad kissingen service area was removed so that drivers can see the game in good time. On the B 303 in the district of schweinfurt, a new system with wildlife sensors and flashing lights is also being tested to warn motorists.
Drugs and alcohol
County-wide, police attribute 26 accidents to alcohol or drug use. This corresponds to the level of the previous years. Alcohol and drug checks are a focus of traffic enforcement. For example, in 2018 the police of bad kissingen carried out 14000 checks. The number of alcohol-related trips in the service area rose from 64 to 75, and the number of drug-related trips from 58 to 79. The police in bad bruckenau have also noticed an increase in the number of cases. "Participation in traffic under the influence of drugs has increased by 50 percent to 24 (2017: 16) cases", says herbert markert. The officers in bad bruckenau primarily seized hashish and marijuana as illegal drugs, but also amphetamine in three cases and heroin once.
Driver and senior citizens
Novice drivers and young drivers (18 to 24 years old) were involved in 187 accidents. While the police in kissingen and hammelburg hardly notice any changes, the police in bad bruckenau have seen a 20 percent drop in the number of new arrests. Seniors (65 years and older) as a risk group remain in focus as their numbers in road traffic increase. The number of untraps also rose to 249. According to lothar manger, it was noticeable in 2018 that seniors had caused significantly more accidents themselves. They also stood out negatively in hit-and-run cases. In bad kissingen, seniors were identified as the culprits in 44.8 percent of the reported hit-and-run cases. One possible explanation is that the driver’s sense of hearing and tactile sensation is weakened, so that slight bumps are not noticed.
Accident black spots
In the city of bad kissingen, the most frequent crashes occur at major intersections on the ring road, such as the schlachthofkreuzung, the garitzer kreuzung and the intersection at the hospital hill in the direction of reiterswiesen. In the city center, the east-west connection (theresienstrabe and schonbornstrabe and the intersection of hemmerichstrabe and maxstrabe) is a particular accident black spot. The serpentines between arnshausen and oerlenbach as well as nudlingen and bad kissingen, the schindberg (B 287) and the pyramid near munnerstadt as well as the B286 between the freeway slip road bad bruckenau-volkers and waldfenster are also prone to accidents. No more accidents occurred at the lauter intersection (B 286) after it was converted into a traffic circle.
While the number of motorcycle accidents in bad bruckenau and hammelburg fell slightly (from 40 to 32), the number in bad kissingen increased from 26 to 33. One incident near mabbach was particularly serious. A 47-year-old father of a family fell after overtaking a car and succumbed to his injuries. In order to prevent motorcycle accidents, the police want to carry out more focus checks in the spring. The stretch between motten and kothen is a special operation site, as the winding road attracts a lot of motorcyclists. In the meantime, the speed limit has been reduced to 70 kilometers per hour. "Monitoring speed on this stretch will be a focus this year", announces herbert markert.