Where are you most likely to get into a tram accident in Prague?

Accident numbers are back at their pre-pandemic levels, and for pedestrians the main cause is inattentive behavior.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 02.06.2023 16:00:00 (updated on 02.06.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The most dangerous stretch in Prague for accidents between pedestrians and trams is between the Štěpánská and I.P. Pavlova stops, while for collisions between cars and trams, the most dangerous area is between the Národní třída and Národní divadlo stops.

Between 2017 and 2022, the Prague Public Transport Company (DPP) recorded 7,083 collisions between cars and trams and 473 accidents involving pedestrians, according to a ČTK report.

Last year alone saw 1,241 tram accidents with cars and 83 with pedestrians, of which four were fatal. The numbers returned to what they had been before the coronavirus pandemic. They had dropped significantly in 2020 due to fewer tourists and less movement of people around the city.

In the section between the Štěpánská and I.P. Pavlova stops, there were 19 accidents between 2017 and 2022, three of which were fatal. The next most dangerous spots were between Biskupcová and Ohrada, with eight accidents, and between Wenceslas Square and Jindřišská, with seven. In the latter two cases, there were no fatalities.

Headphones, hoods and cell phones a leading cause

In about a third of cases, the accidents involved foreign tourists who are not used to Prague’s trams. DPP communications head Daniel Šabík said that Prague has the most tram traffic among cities in the EU. "Neither Berlin, nor Vienna, nor Dresden operates as many carriages as Prague during peak hours," he said. Based on the volume of traffic, the probability of a collision between a pedestrian and a tram is significantly higher in Prague than in Berlin or Vienna, he added.

Pedestrians vs. trams 2022. Photo: Facebook / Dopravní podnik hlavního města Prahy
Pedestrians vs. trams 2022. Photo: Facebook / Dopravní podnik hlavního města Prahy

Factors that lead to accidents include pedestrians wearing headphones that block the noise of oncoming traffic, wearing a hood that restricts the field of vision, or looking at a mobile phone while walking. Prague has in the past launched several campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of these behaviors.

Accidents involving cars more evenly spread out

As for collisions between trams and cars, there were 136 between the Národní třída and Národní divadlo stops between 2017 and 2022. The second most frequent section in terms of accidents with cars is the section between Ortenovo náměstí and Nádraží Holešovice, with109 accidents over those five years.

Next is the track between Štěpánská and I.P. Pavlova with 85 collisions. However, these accidents are relatively evenly distributed across the city; the 10 sections with the highest number of collisions account for 11 percent of the total number of collisions.

Milan Bárta, who is in charge of training tram drivers for DPP, said accidents with trams and cars are always the fault of the driver of the car. Even if a tram "rubs" against a poorly parked car, its driver is to blame. Trams also have longer braking distances, and they cannot avoid hitting a driver who is in the wrong place.

Accidents can complicate travel across the entire tram network. Minor accidents can be resolved in about half an hour, but still need to be documented by DPP accident investigators.

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