Road Safety Stats

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 08:03
ThreadID: 15043 Views:1456 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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Just spent a couple of hours researching road safety stats and I was amazed at some of the findings.

It is interesting to note that road users are safer now than they have ever been in the past almost 80 years. In 1925 the fatality rate per 10,000 registered vehicles was 22.9 and in 1997 it was 1.58. This rate has decreased more since 1997.

Findings by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau suggest that the increase in fatal 4wd crashes is more likely due to the growing number of km's travelled by 4wd's rather than any decrease in the safety of the vehicles - you don't have to be a mental giant to work that out.

In comparing pro rata levels of activity of all types of vehicles, 4wd's had a lower involvement in fatal crashes than motorcycles and heavy trucks and only a slightly higher involvement than passenger cars. The main contributing factor in 4wd fatal crashes seems to be alcohol intoxication where 4wd drivers had the highest rate of all road users - 29% compared to 21% for passenger car drivers.

The proportion of 4wd crashes involving pedestrian fatalities was almost half the proportion of passenger cars on a pro rata basis - interesting.

The stat that I found most interesting was that somebody driving one of those little snotbox plastic Korean Dogwoo type cars is just as likely to become a fatality in a crash with another little snotbox Dogwoo as they are with any other vehicle including 4wd's.

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Reply By: Brian B (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 09:06

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 09:06
Hey Jeff,

Stats are interesting that's for sure. Like all figures they can be interpreted in a number of ways and it is also easy to isolate certain areas and try and attack them. We regularly see this sort of thing on Current Affairs programs.

The bottom line is that all road users, and that includes pedestrians, cyclists etc just need to try and do the right thing and concentrate on where they are and what they are doing.

A ratbag will be a ratbag more times than not whether they drive a 4WD or a Barina. I think it's all about responsible behaviour.

Anyway mate I'll get off my box now. I've been a paramedic for over 20 years and it's a subject that's a bit close to home.

Have a great day.

AnswerID: 69827

Follow Up By: Oz Trekker - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 06:42

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 06:42
G'day Brian,

I fully agree with you that statistical figures can be interpreted in a number of ways and the ATSB acknowledge this fact by stating that there are various factors 'left out' of the compiled data especially in the stats relating to fatal crashes involving non-compatible vehicles. For instance, in the case of a small car being struck side on by a 4wd, the stats only reflect on the incompatibility of the 2 vehicles whereas the cause of the fatalities may have been a combination of all sorts of errors.

FollowupID: 330213

Reply By: Utemad - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 09:36

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 09:36
There are two problems I can see with this.

1) How do we get A Current Affair and the like to show these stats without somehow saying "4WDs are evil" at the same time.

2) If we do sit back and just "do the right thing" then we will be overun by these idiots from ACA who do not.

In an ideal world everyone would be nice to each other and would not be out there trying to score easy votes by going with the majority or whatever. Problem is we don't and if we don't get out there and kick back then we will eventually be prevented somehow from buying the vehicles we want and/or locked out of the places we want to take them. Which includes the CBD.

AnswerID: 69834

Follow Up By: Oz Trekker - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 07:14

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 07:14
There will always be someone saying that 4wd's are evil because the 'us & them' syndrome has come into effect between the 2 major players in vehicle ownership, that is 4wd's and small cars.

The problem of non-compatibility between vehicles is a very real problem which will become bigger as time goes by. The legislation decision makers need to take a closer look at where the "real' problem is, the 4wd or the 'death trap' small car.

The government makes a lot of revenue from 4wd sales and I doubt if we will ever be prevented from buying them. Using them as we do now could well be a different story.


FollowupID: 330214

Reply By: Member - Michael- Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 11:46

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 11:46

Don't send that to ACA or TDT, they will only twist the statistics to suit their own needs
May the fleas of a thousand afghan camels infect the crutch of your enemy and may their arms be too short to scratch.

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AnswerID: 69854

Follow Up By: Oz Trekker - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 07:16

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 07:16
You're right there Mike - they twist the stats to boost the sensationalism of the story and never let the truth stand in the way.

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Reply By: Des Lexic - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 13:23

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 13:23
A few years ago, I was down in the big smoke on business and crossing the road, I nearly got cleaned up by a 4WD WITH a bullbar.
Had he got me, I would have been another fatality.
It was totally my fault as I didn't look properly and tried to run in front of him.
I wonder how many other similar incidents have happened where the driver got blamed for it when it was the pedestrian's fault anyway.
Hope Mr schrubbish reads my post.
AnswerID: 69872

Follow Up By: Oz Trekker - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 07:35

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 07:35
G'day Des,

The stats on pedestrian fatalities are most interesting especially in relation to age groups. I would have thought that the most predominant groups would have been the very young and the very old, but the stats indicate that middle age (39 - 60) have the highest fatality rate.

The stats also indicate that passenger cars and buses are the main offenders well ahead of 4wd's on a pro rata basis. What the stats don't say are the causal factors for the fatalities, i.e why did it happen? Did the pedestrian just step in front of the striking vehicle?, was the pedestrian blind drunk?, etc.

FollowupID: 330216

Reply By: Andrew - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 14:13

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 14:13
Hi jeff

Figures don't lie!! but you sure as hell have to know what the question was before you can uderstand the answer.

The chance of surving a crash in a new car is a lot better than the same looking vehicle from ten years ago so a lot of the recent "improvement" is due to car design. What they don't tell you is how many crashes they are having.

If we are still running into each other at the same rate then the underlying problem hasn't been solved. As Brian said there's ratbags out there and its them and not what they drive that is the problem.

Mind you if you do get run off the road the chance of rolling is much higher (Really?) in a 4x than a car and rollovers have a higher fatal factor so it would be nice if some of the clever safety stuff was fitted to them as well.
food for thought


AnswerID: 69876

Follow Up By: Oz Trekker - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 08:19

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 08:19
G'day Andrew,

You are absolutely right about the chances of survival in a crash today compared to 10 years ago and the improvement of car design to meet ADR's has helped to reduce the fatality rate. The biggest problem we are facing on the roads today is non-compatibilty of vehicle sizes in the event of crashes.

Since 1970 (the worst year for fatalities - 3,798), we have seen a lot of changes with improved ADR's and strict enforcement of road rules especially in relation to speeding and drink driving, but have we reached an 'acceptable' level of fatalities. The national road toll seems to have reached a stagnation point over the past few years at around about the 1700 mark and even though the authorities have set a goal of capping the toll at 1600, it may not be achievable without some road users having to change their ways.

Heavy trucks account for approximately 300 fatalities per year with driver fatigue being the major causal factor, but a recent proposal by the ATSB that each state & territory implement better fatigue management strategies was met with a lot of opposition especially by the livestock transport companies who are more concerned about the welfare of the stock they are carting than other road users.

Rollover fatalities are definitely an area of concern with 4wd's and yet the fatality rate could be reduced if vehicle manufacturers integrate a ROPS (rollover protection system) in the vehicle at the assembly stage. It has worked in the agricultural industry - you can't buy a new tractor these days without ROPS and it has certainly reduced the fatality rate in tractor rollovers.

FollowupID: 330219

Reply By: Andrew - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 08:52

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 08:52
two points you raised Jeff
ROPS (rollover protection sytsems) and

Roll cages and Rops are great but only if the problem is crushing of the vehicle. The biggest issue with rollovers seems to be heads crashing into solid objects like door pillars and cant rails so the big safety improvement here is side air bags and the new curtain systems especially as they also help inside impacts.

Compatability is interesting because it is not just that 4x's and utses and commercial vehicles (infact almost everything that isn't a car) are getting higher or bigger but it's also that cars are getting lower. There is no way you can wander down dirt tracks in a modern car the way you could 25 or 30 years ago.
Of course its easy to blame the 4x but I read something interesting in an editorial recently which suggested that all vehicles should be required to have enough ground to clear a person lying on the road. I think they called it the drunk test.

food for thouight



AnswerID: 70005

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