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Thread: Car Deaths

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    Car Deaths

    Kleinpark posted this response to the thread about "are you worried about terrorists" and rather than highjack the thread I thought I would post these interesting numbers I found when bored one night.

    And let me say one of my brothers died from injuries from a car accident involving speed and drink driving, so I am well aware of the dangers of unsafe driving habits.

    Quote Originally Posted by kleinpark View Post
    To be honest, I think we're more a risk to be taken out by a drunk or drug infused driver.....
    The following doesn't mean he is wrong, and is in no way meant to refute his point, it just reminded me of the digging I did and I offer it here as food for thought, let me know what you think.

    Infact Kleinpark, you are more likely to "off" yourself or fall over with fatal injuries than die of any sort of road death, much less one involving a drug or drink driver (about a third of road deaths)

    This drunk driver third of deaths could be reduced to nearly zero by the introduction of ignition interlocks on all cars, but there is a cost (political and actual) rather than revenue option for this solution.

    You might be surprised to find out some of these numbers

    How many people die in Australia in a year (2010 for the sake of the numbers I had access to)
    143,000 to 146,000 depending on the document from ABS. Differences due to later adjustments of data and other variables

    Number of people in Australia killed in car accidents in 2010
    1352 or less than 1% of total deaths
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...tralia_by_year

    Top 20 causes of death 2010

    20 leading causes of death 2010.JPG

    So what has this got to do with car deaths

    Well, for starters EACH of these things killed more people than road accidents in 2010
    These deaths represent about 65% of deaths, roads deaths represent 1%

    There were another 50 odd thousand deaths that didn't make the top 20

    Note some well neglected areas such as suicide and falls, neither of which generate revenue, nor get budget attention

    smoking and drinking related diseases were SIGNIFICANTLY higher but these are profit centers for the australian tax bucket if not Australian medical services

    Some interesting tidbits from the data on wikipedia

    Deaths per 100,000 people from driving accidents 5.7
    Deaths per 1 BILLION Kilometers driven or 100,000,000km 5.7 or another way 1 death per 17.5 million km driven, I found a document that suggests this as high as 23,000,000 km

    Think about this, on Australian roads, where vehicles vary from 1.5 to 1.9 meters wide (cars) and up to well over 2.5 to 3.5 meters for buses, trucks and vans, running on road lanes of all sorts of qualities, and widths of 3.3 to 3.5 meters or 3.0 to 3.3 for low speed roads according to the australian standard requirements, we manage to kill only one person for every 17 to 23 MILLION kms driven by all standards of drivers

    Another document shows that the drop in standard deaths rates is similar to the reductions in car accident death rates, I haven't checked this out closely but this raises some interesting questions

    Considering the improvements in car safety and medical capabilities in the same period perhaps it is time someone asked how much the $500,000,000.00 traffic revenue systems in australia actually affect road safety

    One stat I haven't gotten yet is the increase in traffic fine revenues over the same period as road death reductions, IE the last 10 years or so.

    Anyway, there is a lot of interesting info available but none of it stands up to the

    "but, but, but, WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN"

    emotional response anytime that someone discusses increasing speed limits.
    Nor does it take into consideration that in Victoria the margin of error is 3kmh at all speeds, while the Australian Standard for speedo manufacture is still +/- 10% or potentially more than 3kmh error at any speed above 30 kmh.

    Or for camera calibration tasks that may or may not be performed by the third party organisations that perform speed camera operations

    Or that the majority of new cameras are going into low speed low fatality roads rather than high speed/lower quality country roads where a large number of road deaths occur

    Or for the fact that a number of the Green local councils who have stated objectives of reducing the number of cars in their council roads have obstructed roads by reducing widths and other tactics, and yet road deaths are 1 per every 17 to 23 million km travelled. (Road deaths included bike deaths and pedestrians)

    Or that these same councils now have the right to designate speed limits, rather than the RTA or similar. This leads to the introduction of the variable speed zones and 40kmh zones in the middle of 70kmh zones all over our suburbs, and of course are prime areas for traffic cameras.

    An example of a paper presented by one of these councils is attached here.
    http://aushiker.com/australian-cycling-conference/
    A link to the actual paper titled "A car is 1.9m wide. How much extra space does it really need?
    is included further down the page when you go to the proceedings of the 2012 ACC conference and begins on pg 44
    This is an interesting read

    Anyway, my thoughts are there are significant arguments and supporting data that speed cameras are nothing but a revenue raising mechanism and the continued spruiking of them as a safety item is nothing but a rort.

    Any comments and thoughts appreciated, no matter which side you fall on this discussion
    Last edited by Bally; 22-09-2014 at 12:46am.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    My thoughts are that all to often, the media focuses on the numbers, in relation to death from any cause. In the end none of us are immortal. The human 'condition' is that we live for a period or time, then we die. It is part of the entire cycle of the planet. People die from a huge range of causes, but it seems to me that governments etc are really not concerned with death, more with the loss of income (taxes) and spending that each human generates. The only reason they want us to live longer, is to get more generated revenue out of us. This would be true for both government and business.

    I think our society focuses on death being so bad, when it really is a natural part of our lives. Death is inevitable, we should stop making it out to be bad, talk about it more openly, learn to celebrate the life lived, not mourn the life lost etc.

    re speed cameras, I agree wit you. When they place them in 40/50 km zones it has nothing to do with reducing death at all. All a speed camera does is capture someone speeding and fine them. It does not stop them speeding.
    Last edited by ricktas; 22-09-2014 at 6:45am.
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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Not only that, but total yearly road deaths are lower now than they were back in the 1940's and 50's!!! When there were waaaaay fewer cars on the roads, cars were not as safe and roads were worse. As much as I agree that we should try to keep road deaths low as possible, I think they are targetting the wrong areas in that we drive much safer cars and have way better roads. The law of diminishing returns comes to mind with their mindset on road deaths. Please do not think I am trying to trivialise this, but I think they are flogging a dead horse with their speed kills mantra. Most deaths are caused by drunks, drugs and tiredness.

    I completely agree that speed cameras are simple revenue raisers. Anyone who brings up the argument that if you don't speed you won't get caught argument are kidding themselves if they try to pull the "I never speed" line of defence as everyone speeds at some time or other even for just a moment - you can't be 100% perfect, as much as might you think you are. Inappropriate speed kills, not speed itself. A case in point: near me there is a school and a school speed limit of 40kmh, but there are so many cars parked on this reasonably wide street, that I don't do 40, I do 30 or less, as even at 40 with so mant cars parked, there would be no way I could see a child run onto the road from between one of these parked cars and be able to stop in time. This is doing a speed appropriate for the situation.

    The thing is, people are governed by two main principles, FEAR and GUILT - this is what religions worked on, but now that many people in the western world have moved on from religions we have other "religions" that have taken over, think green movements etc. The government also thrives on fear and guilt, so, create a fear campaign over road deaths and then you can make it legitimate to tax us or fine us at every turn all the while making out it is for the "good of the community". Create a fear, make us feel guilty, then it makes it all right to fleece us. How many times have you seen that scenario.

    I have driven on the Autobahn's of Germany many a time, and at speeds up to 200kmh and at that speed I would say it is a little fast for normal passenger cars, but most of the time drive at a de riguer speed of about 150-170kmh and at that speed it is a very good balance, to stop you falling asleep like our 100kmh sleep inducing speed limit, and going too fast where reaction times are too slow. Some of our dual lane expressways would be OK for a limit of 130-150, trouble is, our drivers would not be able to cope with many having the mentality of, "I'm doing the speed limit, why should I keep left?" stupid line of thought to name just one issue. They'd last about 5 seconds in Germany before being cleaned up by a 200+kmh Merc. It is that kind of attitude which seems to inflict Australian roadusers mindset and causes frustration and therefore accidents. I therefore wonder if most of our road users would be able to cope with such a speed limit. The fact is, if you are doing the speed limit, then you won't mind being the the bl00dy left lane will you!! One thing they also have in (most of) Europe is an 80kmh speed limit for trucks and it is well adhered to due to limiters (I do believe).
    Last edited by Lance B; 22-09-2014 at 10:01am.

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    I also have to agree. I am finding more and more that people are obeying rules but any curtesy is flying out the window.

    "I'm doing the speed limit so I can do whatever else I want."
    "The light is green so I'll cross the crossing whilst your still walking over it."
    "I'm indicating so I'll change lanes even though you're in my way."

    Ect ect.....

    I have always thought it is bad driving/inappropriate speed that causes harm not speed itself. But everyone thinks they are the perfect driver and that driving is a right not a privilege.

    I enjoying cars and driving but I feel that I won't be allowed to much longer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bally View Post
    Note some well neglected areas such as suicide and falls, neither of which generate revenue, nor get budget attention

    smoking and drinking related diseases were SIGNIFICANTLY higher but these are profit centers for the australian tax bucket if not Australian medical services
    That really is drawing a long bow. i don't buy into the argument for 1 minute that governments only focus on those areas that raise revenue. Taxes are raised on smoking and drinking not to raise revenue but to REDUCE the number of people smoking and drinking, thereby reducing the number of deaths and costs on our health system. In addition, those increased taxes help to pay for the long term medical costs association with smoking and drinking, that's hardly revenue raising. The number 1 killers rightly get the most dollars and attention.

    As for speed cameras, should be more on our roads. No one can say that they haven't modified their behaviour because of speed cameras (and yes I've been done for speeding). Attitude is a generational change and by modifying the behaviour of people now it may just improve in the next. Look at drink driving, in my parents generation they thought nothing of it. It was almost a given that the father drove everywhere regardless of how drunk they were. My generation (X) has a better attitude towards drink driving and my kids and their friends have an even better attitude. We don't give the younger generation enough credit for their attitude towards serious matters.

    And just like taxes on smoking and drinking, the "revenue raised" from speed cameras goes into the funding of support for road trauma victims, emergency services and education (such as drink driving). So if speed cameras are revenue raises only, GOOD.

    Sadly though, there will always be idiots on our roads and you will never stop them. "The moron is always pregnant".

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    "Speed Kills" is easier for them to make it look like they're doing something.

    Putting up more cameras is more "in your face" to the public, to show that they're doing something.

    Instead of driver training, or doing anything else that isn't in the publics face, they'd rather have more eyes directly see them doing something, than working on anything "behind the scenes".


    As mentioned, suicide and falls cause more deaths, but trying to do something to help that requires more thought and is often helped "behind closed doors" where the general public doesn't see. So they don't have the benefit of looking like the heros.


    Those who have the power to make the big choices, seem to often do the one that will have more view of those around them, than the one that will be seen by less but help more. Maybe they are doing what I'm saying they're not, and I don't notice? Wouldn't that be nice!


    To me, I perceive those in power to be doing things to make them look good today, but not sparing a thought for tomorrow.
    Infrastructure is promised for today, but not built for the capacity required tomorrow. Such as freeways, roads, trains, buses. They're under such strain as it is, because when they were built, they didn't factor how things would be coming up in the future
    Build today, for tomorrow.
    Had this been done, maybe our roads would be able to handle the capacity of what is required. Ensuring better flow, better infrastructure, therefore the ability to drive on safer roads, helping to ensure the safety of those around you? Ie; Autobahn, Japan, etc.


    Fantastic article, worth a read:
    http://www.caradvice.com.au/309297/t...eyre-enforced/



    Instead of focusing on the fixing actual problem, it seems they just throw more police and slap more laws.


    Lower the speed limit, add more cameras. The public see that.

    Teach drivers better vehicle control, help those with problems (such as alcohol, etc), the results are greater for the general populace, but it's not "seen".

    Statistics will drop, but the public won't see or be aware of it, so they'll think "the government isn't doing anything".




    This I find ridiculous:
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law...cc25ea758f658e


    Not because I want to just get out there and speed, race my car around the suburbs, I'm not even Victorian. But you'll have most of the drivers aware of this happening continually watching their speedo, to ensure they don't slightly go over the speed limit. So instead of being aware of what is around them, they're focusing on not trying to have the needle go higher than the number.

    Ok, scenario, you're traveling down a 60kmh double lane road. You fear there may be cops up ahead, so you're continually watching your speedo. A car backs out of a driveway a little too abruptly. You don't notice until the last second as you're focusing too much on your speedo trying not to do 61kmh, you swerve, someone else panics and boom. You've just caused somebody to hit someone.

    Some would argue that "drivers should be doing this anyway". Fair enough, they should be, but being forced in to worrying that much more due to the heavily enforced blitz will only cause more trouble.

    Had the above scenario, the driver been doing 58 or 63 or even 70, but more aware of their surroundings, it could have been avoided.

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    Fishy bricat's Avatar
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    If you can't do 60 km/h or less in a 60 zone then you should not be driving. End of story!!! So how do YOU drive? At any speed you think is around about the posted speed limit? So when you went for your licence did you stick to the speed limit or under? I bet you did so it can be done. What about if there is a marked police car in your traffic group? Now you can stick to the speed limit!!! The problem is there is no FEAR of being caught. This keeps the majority of drivers at the speed limit but we don't see marked police cars that often patrolling our streets. You will never stop idiots from breaking road laws until you lock them up. I'm talking about the maniacs here who blatantly drive way too fast and dangerous without regard for any other road users. Perhaps when you scrape a body off the street or see dismembered body parts strewn across the roadway you may change your mind. Speed cameras do save lives even if you get the fine a few days later in the mail. It is not just the deaths but the serious injuries that are reduced due to lower collision speeds. At least when you are dead we can grieve then get over your death. With serious injuries you may be looking after a loved one for the rest of their or your life. I was brought up on open speed limits and travelled many miles between Melbourne/Canberra and Melbourne/Brisbane and return sitting on anywhere between 70 mph and 100 mph (120 km/h to 160 km/h) on roads and in cars that were not a patch on todays vehicles. So I say the speed limit on our highways should be increased and substantially. However around towns and cities they should be adhered to. It is incumbent upon every driver to obey all the road rules not just the ones you like or ones you might not think are right. Do you know all the road rules? I know I don't but that is no excuse for disobeying them. These arguments about always watching your speedo instead of the road are pathetic at best. Grow up and obey the rules like the majority of drivers and good citizens of our country. Of this is JMHO cheers Brian
    Cheers Brian.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    There are also the towns in Germany and The Nederlands that removed all road signs, traffic lights etc, and put up signs telling road users that everyone could use the roads, there were no speed limits, traffic lights, give-way signs etc, but that it expected people using the roads to do so with common-sense. They renamed the roadways as 'shared spaces'. In Drachten, up till they removed all the road signage they had 8 major traffic accidents in the city centre each year, since they removed all road signage, limits etc, they have had reduced to an average of 1 major accident in the city centre each year.

    They surmise that people are to busy sticking to speed limits, watching for signs saying to give way etc, rather than just being aware of their own surroundings. They took away the distractions and everyone drives with more awareness of what is going on around them and adjusting their driving to suit the conditions rather than what the signs told them to do.

    Drachten has a population of around 45,000 people.



    If the ^^ was in Australia there would have been multiple crashes within seconds. Makes you wonder who are the better drivers, eh?
    Last edited by ricktas; 15-10-2014 at 9:11pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    ^^^^ If you are in favor of this draconian rule maybe you should try driving in Asia. They have no rules and it is a disaster.

    i always say if you are not happy with the way the government is running this country - well we are in a democracy, run at the next election and make a difference when you are voted in. Politicians stay elected because their policies appeal to the majority of voters - we seem to forget that point.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Just one comment...

    The statement: "Speed Kills" means nothing.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I think there are a couple of aspects.

    Government is a reactive process rather than proactive. I.e. They react to circumstances and public outcry. The reason for this is if one child dies after changing the speed limit from 40 to 60 in a residential area, it would result in political suicide for the person involved. Politics is about votes, nothing more. I don't believe there are many politicians who really care about the people. The classic example is the fact that they do little in the first year, try throw in as much in the last year to try gain votes, and if it looks like they will lose, they sabotage the budget so that whoever takes over has to be the bad guy. I'm not saying labour or Libs are worse, I'm saying they both look after themselves. I have yet to see many politicians vote to remove their own perks when it comes to money savings.

    I think the only way to get around the current government problems are to give them employment contracts based on their promises, make them deliver their promises each year with deliverables spread over the 4 years, failure to deliver 80% each year results in them losing their jobs, like anyone in the private sector.

    The other challenge is they don't actually have people who know what they are doing. They are politicians, not experts. In the private sector, if you wanted someone to run a private sector company on transport, you'd pick and expert which a long history of transport. Not government, apparently a politican can do anything. I'd like to see a day when the head of each portfolio is an expert in their respective areas because essentially the government is the largest company in our country, and whilst it not for profit, it still should be run like a top 100 company.

    On the issue of deaths, the challenges come back to when do you stop and how do you do it without people who really care in government.

    obesity is one of the biggest killers and yet there are little taxes on unhealthy foods and little subsidies on healthy ones. That means that obesity will get worse. Even if you put a tax on junk food, trying to get the politicians to put that money into remedial actions instead of their own government coffers is tough. you see the same with cigarette and alcohol taxes which don't go where they should.

    Until il the system changes, it won't change, they will see revenue streams as revenue streams.
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    Go the Rabbitohs mudman's Avatar
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    i would like to express a few thoughts i have on this issue
    1. some people blame road conditions for accidents. this, in my opinion, is a nonsense. it is not the road that is the problem, it is the driver not driving to the conditions. speed limits don't matter, if a road is posted at 60k and it's peak hour there is little sense in trying to maintain or even reach that speed.

    2. speed limits are set as the MAXIMUM legally allowed under GOOD conditions. it then seems fairly obvious that if it is raining, foggy, crowded, thick smoke, broken surface, dirt, gravel, or any other condition which could reasonably be considered less than good, a driver
    should adjust their speed accordingly

    3. there are some drivers who, regardless of the speed limit, always want to travel 10 to 20 k above that limit

    4. the main contributor to road accidents is the person behind the wheel. anything else is an excuse
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudman View Post
    i would like to express a few thoughts i have on this issue
    1. some people blame road conditions for accidents. this, in my opinion, is a nonsense. it is not the road that is the problem, it is the driver not driving to the conditions. speed limits don't matter, if a road is posted at 60k and it's peak hour there is little sense in trying to maintain or even reach that speed.

    2. speed limits are set as the MAXIMUM legally allowed under GOOD conditions. it then seems fairly obvious that if it is raining, foggy, crowded, thick smoke, broken surface, dirt, gravel, or any other condition which could reasonably be considered less than good, a driver
    should adjust their speed accordingly

    3. there are some drivers who, regardless of the speed limit, always want to travel 10 to 20 k above that limit

    4. the main contributor to road accidents is the person behind the wheel. anything else is an excuse
    Not sure if other states have them, but we have speed limit signs here in Tas that have the limit posted and under it is "it is a limit not a target", followed up with a sign about 50 metres further on that says 'Drive to the conditions'.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    I remember them, Mark. They said, "It's the limit, not a challenge". Werry klebber, I thought. When there, I only blew the horn once in anger
    - at a NSW plated driver doing shenanigans across the lanes.

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    Go the Rabbitohs mudman's Avatar
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    MM, no-one forces people to eat fast/junk food.
    no-one forces people to speed
    no-one forces people to drink alcohol
    no-one forces people to speed, and/or drive in a dangerous manner
    no-one forces people to D.U.I
    no-one forces people to take hard drugs, or any drugs for that matter
    people choose to do these things .
    people will do these things for numerous reasons. peer pressure being one
    people think they can handle things, and be ok to.
    we can not blame Governments, roads, or whatever for all our actions
    we need to be realistic and take responsibility for our actions, not expect everyone to take responsibility for protectiing us from ourselves
    why we think we can do whatever we want without consequences

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudman View Post
    ...
    people will do these things for numerous reasons. peer pressure being one...
    And because they are mostly SS-CHOOPIDD!!!

    PS: In my just earlier post above where I referred to Mark, I now see it should have been Rick
    Sorry, Mark/Rick. It must have been a splash of ss-choopiddity.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 16-10-2014 at 1:51pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudman View Post
    MM, no-one forces people to eat fast/junk food.
    no-one forces people to speed
    no-one forces people to drink alcohol
    no-one forces people to speed, and/or drive in a dangerous manner
    no-one forces people to D.U.I
    no-one forces people to take hard drugs, or any drugs for that matter
    people choose to do these things .
    people will do these things for numerous reasons. peer pressure being one
    people think they can handle things, and be ok to.
    we can not blame Governments, roads, or whatever for all our actions
    we need to be realistic and take responsibility for our actions, not expect everyone to take responsibility for protectiing us from ourselves
    why we think we can do whatever we want without consequences
    true, but the reason the government gets involved is some things impact others. If people just killed themselves drink driving, less people would care, but when they take out an innocent party in the process, people complain and the government acts. Same with speeding.

    Alcohol is the same, getting drunk is not an issue and the damage they do to their livers is their own problem, but when they get drunk and beat up their partner or some random person in the streets, the government gets involved.

    I agree 100% on taking responsibility for actions. I think the current system is flawed and kids learn that taking responsibility for their actions is not required. When I was young, if you did graffiti, your parents had to pay for the clean up. If you got caught and they got the bill, you'd be damn sure they take an interest in how you spend your time. But all of the accountability is being taken away. Legal systems are more interested in the rehabilitation of the guilty than the rights of the innocent. Schools can't force students to do things and can't expel them when they should be. The wrong people on the dole are allowed to live on the dole drinking their lives away in free government housing while the people who legitimately need support don't get it.

    And the government doesn't help when you see politicians getting away with illegal actions with nothing more than a wrap over the knuckles when they get caught.

  18. #18
    Go the Rabbitohs mudman's Avatar
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    MM i think part of the reason governments get involved is that some people can't/won't self govern.
    take seat belts as an example. before they became compulsory the NSW government spent months advertising the safety benefits of wearing them. the voluntary uptake was so low that they made them compulsory to save people from themselves. it was the same with bike helmets.
    if people want less nanny state treatment they need to do as i said above, take responsibility for their actions and well being

    - - - Updated - - -

    am, there is no such thing as a stupid person. some of the things we do/say can be considered stupid by our social standards though

  19. #19
    Member Jakbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bally View Post
    Any comments and thoughts appreciated, no matter which side you fall on this discussion
    I have to agree with everything you've written. I love seeing numbers blowing emotional rhetoric out of the water.

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