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Changes in the traffic environment

Congested road with the rising number of vehicles

The number of registered vehicles in Korea, which began to surge in the late 1980s, amounts to 16.79 million as at 2008. Although the extended length of the road is increasing as the number of vehicles soars, the road space per a vehicle is decreasing, which signals the deteriorating road environment. Despite the adoption of the cutting-edge technologies such as a real-time traffic guide and ITS (Intelligent Transport System), road congestion remains common.

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  • Changes in the number of vehicles and road space
    Changes in the number of vehicles and road space
    Year Number of vehicles
    (unit: 1,000)
    Number of cars per 100 people Extended length of road(km) Road space per a vehicle (m)
    1980 527 1.4 46,951 88.9
    1990 3,394 7.9 56,715 16.7
    2000 12,059 25.5 88,775 7.3
    2008 16,778 34.5 104,236 6.2

    (Data: National Police Agency, 2009)

The rising number of elderly and woman drivers

As Korea becomes an increasingly aging society, auto accidents involving elderly drivers are emerging as a social issue. The number of woman drivers is sharply rising as more women obtain driver's licence.

  • Increases in the number of people over 65 and elderly auto accidents
    Increases in the number of people over 65 and elderly auto accidents
    Year Population over 65 Elderly auto accident
    (caused by someone over 61)
    1980 1,456,033 (n/a)
    1990 2,195,084 8,925
    2000 3,394,896 8,141
    2008 5,016,000 17,669

    (Unit: person, case / Data: National Police Agency, 2009)

  • Increases in the number of women with driver's licence
    Branch Offices
    Year Women Men
    1980 124,840 1,735,814
    1990 1,040,802 7,503,101
    2000 5,995,349 12,701,997
    2008 9,713,985 15,554,394

    (Data: National Police Agency, 2009)