Israelis’ biggest fear? Hint: It’s not corona

An online survey of 505 Israelis showed that only 21 percent of participants worry about being infected with the coronavirus.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Despite the horrors of the coronavirus shutting down the world’s economy and even family events, an online survey conducted this month showed that only 21% of Israelis worry about being infected with the disease.

Israelis are more afraid of car accidents (42%) and terrorist attacks (24%) than the coronavirus, according to a report by Israel Hayom on Tuesday.

Fifty percent of those surveyed are in favor of appointing a government minister or road safety czar to lead efforts to improve road safety.

Of the 505 Israelis who participated in the survey, 408 were Jews and 97 Arabs, a ratio which accurately reflects the demographics of the Jewish State. The survey was conducted by the Green Light Association, which advocates for traffic safety.

“Most of the public is more afraid of road accidents than the coronavirus,” said Erez Kita, CEO of the Green Light Association. “This is a real, daily danger.”

Speaking to Israel Hayom, he said, “The government has shown that it knows how to unite forces to fight the coronavirus, and reduce the number of people infected; this is how road accidents should be treated, which will remain [an issue] long after the pandemic, and continue to claim victims.”

“The priority should be saving lives, as is happening in the struggle against the virus. Road safety must therefore be strengthened, money must be added to increase the number of vehicles and police, the improvement of red roads and the treatment of at-risk populations. Road accidents are not a matter of fate – a united battle [against them] can save lives,” he said.

In 2019, 349 Israelis were killed in car accidents. According to the National Road Safety Authority, a pedestrian was killed every four days and a cyclist was killed every 20 days.

The majority of deadly accidents in 2019 were due to human error, namely drivers disregarding traffic laws or pedestrians’ right-of-way.

Just two of the 314 deadly accidents were due to a technical malfunction in the vehicle.