The average accident rate per vehicle within the Cayman Islands reached its highest level in five years during 2011, despite a downturn in the overall population.
According to records released by the government’s statistics office, Cayman averaged 43 wrecks per 1,000 vehicles in the Islands.
Also, fatal accidents began to slowly creep up again from a low of just four for the year in 2009 to 10 during 2011.
The government statistics revealed that traffic accident problems were mainly occurring within Grand Cayman’s three larger districts.
For instance, the number of accidents in George Town increased from 953 in 2010 to 1,074 in 2011 for a 13 per cent increase.
Other large districts saw even greater increases in accidents. In Bodden Town, 79 crashes during 2010 rose to 117 in 2011; a 48 per cent in crease. West Bay saw 89 accidents during 2011 – nearly tripling the number it recorded in 2010.
One good piece of news was that accidents along West Bay Road – Cayman’s main tourism corridor – dropped from 196 in 2010 to 66 accidents in 2010.
Although fatal accidents on Cayman Islands roads have increased steadily from 2009, statistics showed the opposite for crashes where serious injuries had occurred.
Serious injury accidents dropped from a high of 32 in 2009 to 18 during last year.
Minor injury accidents increased from 163 in 2010 to 184 during 2011.
At least five major crashes that led to death between late 2011 and early 2012, were either blamed on speed or drinking or a combination of the two.
The Royal Cayman islands Police Service identified at least one of those factors in the accidents that killed 42-year-old Hermann Byrd in January, 26-year-old Dwayne Cayasso on 28 December, 39-year-old Richard Rivera on 23 December, 52-year-old Richard Martin on 30 November and 25-year-old Karen Edwards in August 2011.
Although government statistics show a fairly strong rate of passage on practical driving tests in recent years, written tests did not have such a strong rate of passage.
In 2011, 876 written driving tests were passed out of a total of 1,794 held.
That’s a downgrade from 2010, when 974 tests were passed out of 1,645 held.
Road tests were much better, with 1,252 passes out of 1,433 held last year. In 2010, there were 1,169 road test passes out of 1,378 tests taken.