Abbas Masjidi Arani, the head of Iran’s forensic medicine organization, on Tuesday said during the period between March 16 and April 4, a total of 1,168 people lost their lives in traffic accidents.
He added the maximum number of fatalities was recorded on March 17 and April 2 during the holidays, with the provinces of Fars, Sistan-Baluchistan, Kerman, and Tehran topping the list.
Iran’s calendar year starts on March 21, which sees people traveling within or outside the country.
Last year, the number of casualties from traffic incidents during the holiday season was 1,083.
Road accidents have become a common feature of annual Nowruz holidays in Iran, which experts mostly attribute to reckless driving, lack of adherence to traffic rules as well as poor road safety standards.
The holiday rush is mostly seen in northern Iran’s Gilan and Mazandaran provinces, which are located on the coast of the Caspian Sea, as well as southern Fars province and central Isfahan province.
Earlier this month, Iran’s police chief Ahmad Reza Radan stated that road trips witnessed a surge during this year’s New Year holidays compared to previous years, with travelers mostly heading to northern Iran.
He said most road accidents during this period were the result of sleep deprivation and high speed.
Iran is known for having one of the highest rates of fatalities from traffic accidents in the world.
In September last year, a senior police official said at least 600 people die and more than 20,000 are injured in road accidents every year in the Iranian capital Tehran alone.
In July last year, Iran’s state-run Legal Medicine Organization said one person dies in a road accident every half an hour across the country, taking the annual death toll to 17,000.
Iran’s state-owned car firms have also faced criticism in recent years over the decrease in safety standards.