Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Lately the media have woken up to a statistical fact that the current road toll is at a lower level but omit the main factors that have brought this about.
What are the number of crashes that make up those stats and the ratio of dead?
Most cars built in the last 15 or so years have had the still improving and increasingly effective SRS systems that undoubtably, in conjunction with seat belts, reduce the damage to the occupants of vehicles.
When Fire service and ambulance, volly or paid, arrive at the scene they initiate basic life support in situ many times faster than in earlier years. What used to be "the golden hour" where patients were much better equipped to survive trauma by receiving intensive care within one hour of the crash has now largely been superceded by better systems and early intervention being delivered to victims "in Situ".
Modern Vehicles are so much better able to resist intrusion and impact with basic design enhancement.
IMHO the major efforts by police to attack speed and all drug impairment are in reality very minor in their impact on the Road Toll but it makes great copy.
It also makes plod look good.
The two biggest advances available to authorities to continue the downward trends in deaths are Road design and driver training. The former is abysmally behind what is needed and the latter is appalling.
Why do we give a licence to drive a car/ute/high performance vehicle to candidates asked to provide evidence of a standard equivilant to The age old image of "a little old lady only driving to church".
Why dont we ask all candidates to demonstrate their capability to handle a car (they provide) on a race track with water/oil/ smooth surface at the sort of speed we all know they will attempt sooner rather than later.
Why do we prohibit a tyro motorcyclist from riding anything over 250 cc but allow anyone passing the basic "learner" test to get into a horozontal bomb just waiting to explode ie a wrx or similar.
Yes the death toll is lower but the crashes are if anything rising as are the patients in ICU, so lets have a little more analysis and less repeating the 'good news' suitably spun by the wordsmiths at police HQ.