Algeria annually records about 4,000 deaths due to road accidents, but 2020 witnessed a remarkable decline coincided with tightening lockdown to deal with pandemic.
I obtained the statistics of the National Center for Prevention and Road Security, between January and October, of 2019 and 2020. I reached by comparing the statistics to the following:
Traffic accidents decreased in 2020 by 20 percent, compared to the same period in 2019.
The deaths decreased by 15 percent, with 427 dead.
People injured decreased by about 5000.
The biggest decline was in: March, April, May and July, where lockdown measures were more stringent.
The readers has been more aware about the danger of traffic accidents, and how this danger can be read during the crisis, which has shown that it is possible to save lives and that the deaths of 4,000 people a year in Algeria’s roads are not inevitable.
Some readers were surprised to compare the losses left by Corona virus with the victims of traffic accidents, and narrowly understood the idea as new and never been raised before.
I have used Microsoft Excel to clean the data and Google sheet to turn it into charts.
What was the hardest part of this project?
The hardest part of the project was when I started cleaning up the data, because I got a lot of statistics but I had to choose what I needed so I wouldn’t get out of context.
I think that the topic that I chose is new and has not been addressed in Algeria and even at the Arab level, everyone was thinking about the crisis of Corona and its victims, but many did not pay attention to a positive side, which is that this health crisis hide behind it another fact that the lives of Algerians were saved thanks to measures to reduce movements, which opens up the debate again about the feasibility of policies to reduce traffic accidents.
What can others learn from this project?
I think what journalists can learn from this project, is that data that seems to be worthless can turn into an important story, if the hypothesis we put in place from the beginning, is realistic.
What I have learned personally from this project is that each story may hide behind another story as important as the first, which requires the journalist to have a more comprehensive and deeper view of what is going on around him.