Another thread has drifted to historic accidents. Worth its own thread.
There is a lot of hysteria over road deaths and some dreamland BS by police and politicians about a zero death target. This is impossible.
We are doing unbelievably well and have reached a level of lowest statistical death rate short of stopping every vehicle driving. Here are the figures for Australia - Deaths per 100,000 cars on the road. This of course is a distorted statistic as the true measure should be deaths per 100,000 kilometres. The per car figure makes countries like UK and Switzerland look good while Australia and USA are not so good. Unfortunately the average car drives twice as far in Australia and USA with subsequent double exposure. The real situation makes UK and Switzerland look quite bad.
Anyhow lets look at the deaths per 100,000 car figures for Australia:
2016 4 (this is the statistical minimum achievable regardless of what measures are taken including autonomous vehicles and it will continue to stay in the 3-6 deaths per 100,000 cars. Moral is we must all continue to be vigilant and not regress to the habits of the past)
The big advances in safety were universal speed limits, drink-drive laws starting to be enforced, seat belts and crash-worthy vehicle design. Many other factors such as better roads, better vehicle handling and braking helped but remember since the FJ Holden days the average speed on the highway has increased from 75 to 100 kmh with the potential for much greater damage.
Currently 45% of Australian deaths are single vehicle accidents, 90% of which are the driver's fault - speed, fatigue and loss of control for unknown reasons - phones?.
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One thing we dont talk about is just how well cars are built and have been for 20 - 30 years
In recent years I have been the first person to arrive at one high speed head on and almost head between a Commodore and B double in the last 6 months
When I say almost head on, the car hit drive wheels and tore the drive axles back so hard the tail shafts were thrown across the highway and ended 50 odd meters past the rear of the B double
The A trailer Alcoa wheels were folded in half
The reason I give a brief description is you have some idea just how hard the car hit
Yet to my surprise the car driver was able to talk to me and the car, although written off, still had the passenger compartment completely intact
Yes it was squashed bad enough the drivers legs were broken and his right arm wasn't looking real flash
But the door was on, the driver was in the seat sitting talking to me for at least 40 minutes
The thing that struck me about this accident and the other I mentioned was both drivers had fallen asleep with cruise control on
The other vehicles had got as far off the road they could and both times the other car never made a attempt to even stop
I believe that the road toll will never get any lower in real terms as long as we the humans are allowed any degree of input and judgement
After the first accident about 18 months ago like this I came across it rattled me a bit and I thought I never want this to happen to me so I stopped using cruise control and it was only weeks until I got a speeding fine .
So you guessed it, back to cruise control
Your better to die trying than live on your knees begging
Random breath testing, nationwide, typically results in a failure rate below 15%. 30% of serious/ fatal road crashes involve drivers with a BAC in excess of 0.05. Quoted figures vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. I can find no figures on the degree of offending, in terms of BAC.
An interesting observation during the virus lock down and border closure is that there are more cars falling off the road. Not just close to the border but all down the New England Hwy where there is much less traffic than usual. Latest figures from the truck insurer is an increase in truck/truck head ons (attributed to under 25s and distractions) and for the second year they are reporting suicide by truck (car driven at speed into truck) which are in significant numbers.
We have really kicked a lot of goals on the drink-driving front. So much so it has completely changed Australian social habits with designated drivers and light beer for those doing the right thing. At almost every gathering, be it a private dinner party or big pub 21st birthday party, many people in the group will be restricting their alcohol because they must drive home - this never used to happen back in the day.
The RBT buses haul in huge numbers still and you have to think that so many of those thousands killed pre-1980 were as a result of drunk-driving on a scale no longer tolerated.
The big challenge now as Steve alludes to are the new plagues of phones and drugs and unless we get a grip the figures will be climbing back up to those of 30 years ago.
We forced people to be strapped into their cars, we took away their right to go as fast as they like and have a few dozen beers with their mates. We have the technology to disable phones in a car. Phones are now responsible for more accidents than drink-driving, they only get leniency as they tend to be lower speed crashes in suburbs but are increasingly responsible for high speed highway accidents.
Authorities have their head in the sand with laws to stop hand phones both calling and texting while allowing in-car systems. Holding a phone to your ear is "safer" than in-car in many cases - at least you have your head up looking out the front. How many times have you been behind someone having an intense conversation looking down at the speaker while wandering all over the road. How many times have you been behind someone pressing buttons on their in-car system while wandering all over the road.
Texting should be grouped under hooning laws with instant loss of licence and for re-offenders impounding the car.
Allowing any phone use in a car must be banned. Get an incoming call beep and you must pull over and turn the ignition off for the phone to work. It has nothing to do with handset or dash unit it is where your mind is, certainly not on the road!
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Just been asked what "statistical minimum" accidents means.
The figures include pedestrians stepping out, bicycles suddenly turning, cars backing over kids, sudden mechanical failure, kangaroos, a fridge falling on Wiley Coyote and every other type of accident not directly related to the improper use of a vehicle. So even if we became perfect, sober, law abiding, alert, skillful, phoneless, never distracted drivers, there will always be genuine unavoidable "accidents". Electric, self driving cars with no human input will still have these out of left field accidents.
mammoth wrote: An interesting observation during the virus lock down and border closure is that there are more cars falling off the road. Not just close to the border but all down the New England Hwy where there is much less traffic than usual. Latest figures from the truck insurer is an increase in truck/truck head ons (attributed to under 25s and distractions) and for the second year they are reporting suicide by truck (car driven at speed into truck) which are in significant numbers.
Personally I think whoever it is that let’s out the information about how or who crashed where should keep their mouths shut and just maybe joe blow wouldn’t have done a killed by head on , I’m not saying that his life was saved but maybe a poor truck driver would not have to deal with a death , anyone’s ...... just saying
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Don't talk about it and it will go away:- The 'suicide by truck' statistics have previously been a closed book due to the fear of copycats which you allude to. Trouble is the numbers are huge (about 30% of head ons between truck and car) and the truck driver takes the whole blame (inflamed by a Current Affair type TV programs) while the whole world is blissfully ignorant of who the real victim is. Dash cams can now show where truckies have committed a rollover in an effort to avoid a determined suicider.
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mammoth wrote: Don't talk about it and it will go away:- The 'suicide by truck' statistics have previously been a closed book due to the fear of copycats which you allude to. Trouble is the numbers are huge (about 30% of head ons between truck and car) and the truck driver takes the whole blame (inflamed by a Current Affair type TV programs) while the whole world is blissfully ignorant of who the real victim is. Dash cams can now show where truckies have committed a rollover in an effort to avoid a determined suicider.