Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Amazing Statistic

We all think the roads are less safe today than they were years ago, but are they?

In 2005 there were 3,201 deaths in road traffic accidents. I've just found out, from a book about 1964, that there were 7,820 deaths just over forty years ago. That's 144% more - a staggering statistic given the fact that there are vastly more vehicles on the road. In fact in 1964 there were a little over 9 million and today there's over 33 million.


r morris said...

Has the speed limit changed?
In the US, we went from 75 mph to 55 mph in the 70's, then back up to 75 mph again.
Any other factors that could have changed? I know in the sixties many cars had seatbelts as an option not a requirement.

ian russell said...

there have been many changes seen in those years to improve road safety in UK, better roads (believe it or not), better road lighting, better signage, better vehicle safety and design, stricter rules and new laws, greater public awareness, tougher penalties etc.

it's still an amazing reduction in ratio!

Richard Havers said...

I agree Ian. I just tried it out on a friend who is staying and he guessed that there had been around 600 deaths in 2005 and when I told him the real number and asked him to say what there had been forty years ago he guessed the same, around 3,000.

I think the media would have us thinking things have got a lot worse. Crudely, based on the number of cars on the road it's ten times safer now.

Richard Havers said...

Rob, the speed limit has been pretty much the same. You're right about seatbelts being a factor.