Lowest road toll since 1950

Safer roads and vehicles and better driving are factors in the lowest road toll since 1950.

As of Tuesday morning, 254 people have died on the roads this year – 17% fewer than last year.

In the last 60 years the only other year with a road toll below 300 was in 2011.

AA general manager of motoring affairs Mike Noon says 2013 has seen the lowest number of people killed in road crashes since 1950, when the road toll was 232. . . .

Mr Noon says vehicle and road safety are big factors driving down road deaths, while people’s driving habits, and attitudes to road safety have also improved.

The road toll doesn’t record non-fatal injuries and the numbers don’t reflect the impact even one death has on family and friends.

But a lower toll is encouraging.

7 Responses to Lowest road toll since 1950

  1. Ross McCorquodale says:

    It’s getting worryingly close to 50 years since I first took the wheel of a car. In that time I have watched the steady decline in general driving ability, alongside the steady dumbing-down of the roading system, and the dumbing-down of the processes needed to drive a modern car.

    Cars are very much faster than they were all those years ago, but they are very much simpler to drive. An effortless steering wheel and two pedals. Aim, Go and Stop. Now you can very easily jump into a car and drive anywhere without first engaging the brain. And many people do…

    The stream of damaged cars passing through the panelbeaters’ next door simply confirms this – silly “accidents”, all caused by incompetence and inattention.

    The number of crashes continues soaring. But there is no easy way of accurately recording them. Injury accidents are recorded, but the numbers are misleading for two main reasons. Roads are slowly being re-engineered to reduce the severity of crashes, and in many cases to eliminate head-on crashes. And the biggest single change has been the safety of the cars themselves. It has got a lot harder to hurt or kill yourself when you crash. Unless of course you don’t bother with seat belts and then drive far, far beyond your capabilities…

    When the Police try to take the credit, it damages their already tarnished image even more. Especially for ordinary drivers who are bearing the brunt of the swingeing speed campaigns although it isn’t ordinary drivers who cause most of the injuries and deaths.

  2. Andrei says:

    When the Police try to take the credit……

    To be fair Ross the police have given the credit to where its due, well partially “safer roads and cars”.

    The people who have really bough these changes about will never be credited of course, the word ENGINEERS you
    will never hear uttered in this context.

    I don’t think there is a single ENGINEER in our “diverse” parliament where diversity means diversity in race. gender (of which three are apparently at least 5 to choose from) and/or sexual confusion but not in CV – about half of our MPs have a legal or accounting background and the rest seem to come from Education.

    This makes them highly qualified in taking the credit for things other people have achieved (about the only talent the majority of them have) As the old saying goes “Victory has many fathers defeat is an orphan” .

    We haven’t heard much political crowing over this because the good thing about this time of year is all the political class go on holiday and therefore are not inflicting their bullshit on us all

  3. Ross McCorquodale says:

    Yes, this particular quote was from Mike Noon, who has a much better track record of sensible comment than what has been reported from Police or Government sources.

    If only the news media took more notice of science and engineering, and they employed reporters who understood, and could investigate and then communicate. But you would be forgiven for thinking that the only “technology” which existed anywhere on the planet concerned a colour touch screen which you can hold in your hand (and which will become obsolete within 18 months).

    And on the subject of engineering, automotive engineers are being bullied not just by the stylists, who have always demanded that form comes far ahead of function, but now by the world’s regulators, who have insisted in many detailed technical “improvements”. The upshot is, as I discussed recently with a friend with a long involvement in the industry, that if somebody asks what car to buy – something reasonably new, affordable, and reliable – there is no longer any such car.

  4. TraceyS says:

    Nick Smith.

  5. Judge Holden says:

    You’re completely wrong. Cars are more affordable, reliable, economical and safe than they’ve ever been, thanks in part to the regulators themselves. The roads are safer than they’ve been since the invention of the motor vehicle also. This is due to numerous factors including better enforcement strategies, and culture change. It’s odd that you can be so mistaken about so many things. Why is that?

  6. Ross McCorquodale says:

    I guess it would be rude to ask why you consider that you know more about cars than the people working in the industry. So I suppose I’d better not ask…

  7. Judge Holden says:

    The people whom you quote obviously don’t know much about the industry they are purported to work in. Not my fault, I’m afraid; go and look at the numbers.

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