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ACCIDENT

July Sweden’s deadliest month in traffic: report

If you're a man driving on a Saturday afternoon in July, you'd be advised to take it easy on the road.

July Sweden's deadliest month in traffic: report

All these criteria are high-risk factors, according to a recent report charting 2010’s traffic-related deaths, published by the Traffic Analysis Agency (Trafikanalys).

Men continue to dominate statistics of traffic fatalities. Out of 266 total traffic accident deaths in 2010, 75 percent were men.

According to the agency, men are twice as likely as women to be killed in traffic. This trend has been stable for years, but change may be on the horizon.

“The gap between the number of deceased men and women remained consistent for a long time, but we can now see that it’s actually starting to diminish,” Magnus Lindholm, accident analyst at the agency, said to news agency TT.

The agency has yet to find an explanation for the diminishing gap.

Seasons have a significant effect on who is involved in traffic accidents. Among men and young people, the summer months are the most dangerous, while women and elderly more often have accidents on wintry roads.

A majority of last year’s fatal accidents occurred in daylight, on dry roads. June and July top statistics, due to the many motorcycles rolling on roads.

Magnus Lindholm offers a few suggestions for drivers braving the roads during the year’s most dangerous months in traffic: choose roads with central barriers, and follow a few simple principles.

“If you wear a seat belt, follow speed limits and stay sober, you’ll come a long way.”

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ACCIDENT

Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port

UPDATE: A ferry that ran aground next to islands between Finland and Sweden with nearly 430 crew and passengers on board, was refloated and heading for port, its owners said Sunday.

Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port
The Viking Line ship Grace hit rocks in in the Aland archipelago. Photo AFP

The Viking Line's “Grace” hit rocks on Saturday afternoon while sailing between the Finnish port of Turku and the Swedish capital Stockholm, shortly before a stopover in Mariehamn, in the Aland archipelago, Finland's coast guard said.

The passengers had to spend the night on board, though there was no immediate danger as it was not taking on water. No one was hurt in the incident.

A tug boat helped refloat the ferry in the small hours of Sunday morning, the coast guard said on Twitter.

After disembarking around 260 passengers at Mariehamn, it went on to its home port of Turku in Finland, a Viking Line spokeswoman told AFP Sunday. It would undergo repairs in the coming days, she added.

Although the cause of the accident has yet to be established, the coast guard said there were strong winds in the area at the time.

The company cancelled its Saturday ferry service, which was to have been taken by a smaller vessel, because of a storm warning.

In September, another Viking Line ferry, the Amorella, ran aground on the same Aaland Island and the passengers had to be evacuated.

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