Saturday, December 09, 2006

Libyan Roads are Deadly!

In the past two days I've had two funerals to attend. Both were unfortunate victims of car accidents. Everyone in Libya knows how dangerous the driving is here and most people blame the drivers themselves. People do not obey the laws... I often wonder if there are any traffic laws here.

Lack of good old common sense is also a huge problem but the cause of one of the accidents was not the driver himself, it was because the roads are not being properly maintained. The driver hit a huge pothole in the road and lost control of the car resulting in the death of the passenger. The driver is in serious condition in the hospital's intensive care unit. Talk at the funeral revealed that the same pothole has caused the deaths of at least nine people so far.

Beacon, a Libyan blogger, has a new blog featuring road safety. Check it out here: Tripoli Nights
I'll add it to my sidebar for future reference.


  1. When I was a teenager in Tripoli my mother would constantly call Libyan drivers ex-kamikaze pilots! She just knew that they were all out to kill her!
    For those of you that do not know what a kamikaze pilot is, they were Japanese pilots that would intentionally crash their planes into American ships during WWII. Kind of like today’s suicide-bombers.

  2. when adam first came to visit i think he didnt understand what a seat belt was used for. just using that one saftey device can bring down the possibility of a fatality in a car crash. the problem with seat belts is it is hard to educate people to use them. most people belive it is better not to wear seat belts because they can get out of the car faster without them , unfortunatly most people are thrown out of the car at impact and sustain fatal head, chest or abdominal injuries. even here in the U.S. we have people who do not wear their seat belts... working in a trauma center taught me to use them every time i get into a car even if i just need something at the corner sorry to hear about your friends death... their family and friends are in my thouhgts... hugs holly

  3. wow you have a really interesting blog or should I say you live a really interesting life
    this is from a lady who has never traveled out of her own country
    I love reading! thanks for shareing

  4. Too bad the big guy doesn't do anything about your roads there. Be safe in your driving. Sandi

  5. I the mid-1970s I lived in Benghazi along the coast highway, not far from the University of Gar Younis. There were many high-speed accidents. When we heard a crash, men in my neighborhood would hurry to the scene. We extracted the victims whenever necessary and possible. Usually someone driving a station wagon would stop. We'd put the victims in the backs of their cars, and they would dash to the nearest hospital. Some died at the scene, of course. That was hard to take, especially when they were very young.

    Driving in Libya was treacherous, but people were always willing to help as much as they could, sometimes risking their own safety. Extreme generosity and courage were ordinary traits in Libya. Yes, driving was dangerous, but I had no hesitation to drive all along the coast because I knew that someone would certainly help if I had car trouble.

    I also saw many miracles, such as the time an oil drilling pipe fell from a truck and bounced into the cab of the truck behind. The front wheels were lifted off the ground and the cab was smashed, but the two men in the truck were unhurt because the pipe had passed between their heads. When we got to the scene, they were laughing and inspecting the damage with the men from the first truck. As was common in Libya, we all celebrated in gratitude because a big accident in which nobody was hurt or killed was considered a miracle.


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