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15 Jun, 2009 06:34

Big boys’ deadly toys

The rich in Russia like fast cars, but more horsepower can mean more accidents. Over 30,000 people died in car accidents in the country last year alone, but are faster cars the bigger danger?

Russia’s road fatality rate is one of the worst in the world. In just one week two car crashes in central Moscow caused by super-powerful and super expensive cars – a Lamborghini and a Ferrari – left six people dead and several vehicles ruined.

Is there something in the sports cars themselves that makes the drivers suddenly go wild?

Some say that when you are behind the wheel of such a car it seems that you need more than just a driver’s license. It is as fast as an airplane, and it feels like flying. It is this feeling of freedom that may be the main reason why many lose control, as there is a huge temptation to put the car to the test right in the middle of the city’s sprawling highways.

Responsible drivers, however, say this is extremely dangerous. Sergey Ivanov, a Ferrari owner, is certain: the recent accidents in Moscow were caused by pure recklessness:

“They step on the gas, they speed, and they try to impress someone, to prove something. But when you own a car like this, there's actually no need to prove anything anymore.”

Others blame illegal street racing. In Russia there is no jail sentence for traffic law violations such as speeding or running red lights. A $50 speeding ticket is unlikely to be a problem for anyone who owns a car costing a fortune.

“For boys, cars are just toys. We grow up, and the toys get bigger,” says Egor Golubev, Lotus owner.

Last year more than 30,000 people in Russia died in road accidents as a result of such “toys”. No matter what you’re driving – a simple car, or a shiny red sports coupe – common sense is the only thing that can save both your life, and the lives of others.