Easter Road Toll 2012

Submitted: Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 22:43
ThreadID: 94783 Views:2522 Replies:3 FollowUps:15
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Each year after Easter we are told the road toll for the holiday period. This year however I have been living in the US and there was no mention of the holiday road deaths. This I thought was interesting so I looked at some numbers. The road death number in Australia is 7.7 and in the US 12.3 (per100.000 people). Here is how we compare with simlar countries, ie: NZ 8.6, UK 3.59, Canada 9.2, France 6.9, Germany 4.5, SA 33.2, Japan 3.85 which is just about the safest country to drive.

My expereince from living here however has shown me 2 things about driving in the US. Drivers are far more forgiving and countious to other drivers. I was very embarrassed bring an American friend into Australian traffic. The second that they drive much faster on the freeways.

Not certain of my point but perhaps it is, drive slower on freeways and be rude to other drivers. Then we will have a lower road toll.
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Reply By: Wayne's 60 - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 01:07

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 01:07
Hi Carl,

I have to say that it is sad in the way society seems happy to keep on culling people to maintain a balance.

I was speaking with a close friend the other day who commented about the road toll, indicating that it was ok at the present level.

Included in the reply,

there are more people driving more kilometres

we are better educated and qualified

driving safer vehicles

driving on better designed roads

..... these comments did not travel very far with me ............. at all.

Wayne & Sally.

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Follow Up By: Rockape - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:51

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:51
just another way of looking at this. In the 70's our road toll was very high and it has gradually been reduced so something is working well considering the amount of vehicles on the road now.

We can reduce it to zero easily just get rid of cars and trucks or we can reduce it by speed limiting vehicles to 40 kph. Now we all no that won't happen so all we can do is find an acceptable level of risk.

It would be great to separate heavy from light and have all vehicles going the one way on a road with no chance of head on collisions. It just comes down to money, money and more money.

Separation would be one of the greatest advances we could make and where I work it has cost the company many millions of dollars to even partly achieve this.

Safer vehicles have had a lot to do with the toll and technology will keep advancing especially in the area of fatigue. I don't know the answer to the drug and alcohol area but I am not going to become a tea totaller as a means of stopping this.

Roads are far better even though not great. Money, money, money.

Have a safe one


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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 08:47

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 08:47
The era of cheap airfares over the past two decades has possibly contributed to lowering the road toll also...

Cheers, The Landy
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 10:10

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 10:10
Hi Landy

One of my pet subjects is the unintended consequences that are not counted in many of these things and on your comment of more air travel , I recently read a very comprehensive study which showed that after the 911 attacks which killed somne 3000 people , air travel reduced and it can now be shown that the increase in road deaths as people switched from flying to driving was greater than caused by the actual attacks.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: get outmore - Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 at 10:55

Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 at 10:55
Id be a bit carefull with that "fact" Robin

it could well be true and sounds plausable but it also sounds like the other host of internet "facts" that get propagated

as for road tolls in the 70s

for starters there was no speed limmit and the highways wernt much wider than your typical modern day highwaysingle lane if it was bitumen at all. Trucks would drive down the middle of the road and only move over for oncoming traffick.

there werent nicly maintained wide gravel shoulders just big drop offs from the bitumen making correcting a strayed vehicle harder

there were no passing lanes

Thats just from memory and i havnt started on how much safer the actual vehicles are now
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Reply By: Member - Wamuranman - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 06:40

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 06:40
HI Carl,

Interesting statistics.
But I wonder why the comparison rates are per 100,000 people? That assumes car ownership rates and Km travelled rates are constant between countries - which they are not.
I would have thought death rate/ per 100,000 registered vehicles would be a more representative/accurate figure but even that doesn't take into account vehicle usage.
Just some thoughts....
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Follow Up By: Member - Carl- Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:01

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:01
Yes I tried to do "apples for apples".

I looked at other states as well but trying to make some sense of it was hard. South Africa for example has a number of 33.2 killed per 100.000 people. Similar side of the road driving, similar cars and similar weather and probably less vehicles per head of population as well.

Another thing I scanned as mmurder rate. The road toll in Australia is 6.6 times the murder rate but in the US only 2.5 times the murder rate. Is this a reason why roads deaths are comparitively less important? Funny enough in the UK the road toll rate is 2.9 times the murder rate.

In the end I think that the evening news is 30 minutes long. Take out time for adverts, sport, the weather and maybe there is 15 minutes left. How many things happen in the US compared to how many things happen in Australia. There is not really any time left to report the road toll. Is that a sad thing? Certainly if you have a loved one that has been killed.
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Reply By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 06:55

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 06:55
It makes a mockery of the adage speed kills when Germany is way lower than us and cars doing 200 kph on the autobahn are very common. They hike along very quick in the UK as well. Most civilised countries have far more courteous drivers as norm than us. It's the first thing that stands out if you drive anywhere else. We are that hopeless the government can only trust us with 100-110 kph unless you are from NT of course. :-)
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:01

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:01
By the way Germany is still below us if compared by deaths per number of vehicles.
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Follow Up By: Member - Carl- Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:06

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:06
Yes Germany is 4.5 compared to our 7.7.
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:34

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:34
Before anyone throws up that the roads are better over there....they aren't. A lot of their motorways are getting pretty tired in my opinion. It's all driver attitude that is the difference
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 11:58

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 11:58
And they obey the road rules! In a recent visit I was informed that I could NOT overtake on the inside - you will get fined! We found virtually no one hogging the fast lane either - so there was no need to pass on the inside. Interestingly you had to remember to have a good look in the rear view before entering the fast lane because those headlights may seem a far way back but at 200+KPH they're next to you in no time (even at 160KPH).

German cars are chipped not to exceed 230 KPH but there is a roaring trade in chip replacements from neighboring countries.

Kind regards
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 12:28

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 12:28
This point was also made with stats on the NT highways when speed limits were unlimited. Very low "traditional" accident rates ie - cars having accidents at relatively high speeds - most fatalities were indigenous people sleeping on the road and getting run over and utes full of unrestrained people rolling over - very few accidents of through traffic.

If speed kills then these highways would have very high accident rate which is not the case - the saying should be something like High Speed relative to the Environment Kills.

70 kph in a built up 50kph area is dangerous but 130kph on the 110kph Hume Highway is not etc.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 13:29

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 13:29
We've only spent 3 weeks in Germany but thought they have some interesting road laws.
Caravans are limited to 80kph - Suits their multilane roads but wouldn't suit our vast single lane highways.
From memory cars over a certain age are taxed heavily, making it expensive to own older (less safe and more polluting) cars.
And the young males don't all drive around in lowered Commodores driving into trees.
And I agree - they are courteous drivers.
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 14:33

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 14:33
Yes they obey the rules alright. If there are roadworks then the 200kph cars slow to whatever the limit is. If you get off a motorway and go through a village they are doing the 30kph speed limit. The absolute biggest benefit is no overtaking on the inside, and no hogging the fast lane as mentioned above.
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Follow Up By: Bomber_WA - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 16:41

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 16:41
I have heard (not sure if it is true) that to get a driver's license in Germany, it costs about $2000-$3000 and it is a fairly tough thing to get. I think this would be a great idea. It would make people earn and respect their spot on the road and maybe keep some people who don't deserve to be on the road, off it. Its not the money as much as making the testing a lot harder.
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 18:37

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 18:37
Bomber, thats correct actually about 3000 euros. Lerner drivers are made to drive up to 200kph to make sure they are competent at speed. We have friends in Munich and their son just got his Licence and told us first hand. They are good drivers, drive fast but no mucking around. Trucks stay in the slow lane at 80kph, trucks are clean and most drivers are clean and uniformed I have spent a lot of time in Germany over the last 20 years and the system works well. My personal thoughts are they should have lower limits to save some fuel, we all know its running out.. Michael
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 19:31

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 19:31
Nearly everyone is driving a small car and usually a diesel. Not many V8 Landcruisers or petrol Patrols over their. Fuel costs a lot more than here and petrol is dearer than diesel. The US should be ashamed of itself with it's petrol pricing and usage policies. I don't particularly like bashing yanks but they deserve a hit on that subject.
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