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UK versus Oz (Vic) road safety

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by simon varley, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. just released that for 2007 in the UK road traffic fatalities fell below 3000 for the first time since the 20's. Good news. Obviously

    Now, there are 63 million people in the UK. Obviously not everyone drives, some are too young and some are too old but as a statistic this equates to one death per 21000 head of population.

    in 2007 322 people were killed on the Victorian roads. If the demographics are similar to the UK then this represents a death toll of one per 15000 head of population.

    So, amazing as it seems, and completely opposite to what I was expecting, it is actually 'safer' on the roads here than in the UK (*) even though most of the time it certainly doesn't 'feel' it

    (*) unless I've stuffed up the numbers - which is quite possible

    or does this just back up all we know about 'statistics'?
  2. actually I'm wrong aren't I? 1 in 20000 IS safer than 1 in 15000. so victoria IS more dangerous on the roads than the UK. To reach UK numbers TAC would have to target 250 fatalities.
  3. But...

    What is the best way to compare figures - by number of vehicles or do we really need to look at kilometres travelled? Something we just don't have really accurate data on (especially for motorcycles). The Bureau of Statistics actually has a caveat on its VKT (Vehicle Kilometres Travelled) figures for motorcycles that they could be out by as much as 20%.

    This is a contentious issue and one we've had long, tedious and sometimes acrimonious arguments/discussions about at both State and Commonwealth level without coming to any resolution. I believe the VKT figures are the best comparator - as do most people. The disputes are about the accuracy. Average VKT here is significantly higher than the UK.

    Again if we look at motorcycling there is also a seasonal issue - we don't really have a season where riding virtually stops for several months - unlike parts of the UK and Europe. I know that the OP was about all traffic fatalities but by removing motorcyclists from the road for several months, that will also skew the figures - given that we are a disproportional number of the casualties.

    And are fatalities the best way to compare - or are serious injuries better? Fatality numbers can be aggravated by other factors such as ambulance response times - usually longer here than the UK if it's a country crash.

    Or do we compare by hours. If we use the number of hours the activity is participated in per serious injury we get one serious injury for every 10,000 hours for motorcycling - one every 1000 hours of horseriding. I don't have figures for skiing but I believe it's worse than horseriding. But hours is not going to be compatible with VKT. Country riders/drivers travel is different in this case to city drivers/riders and a 25km ride at 100kph produces a totally different type of exposure to a city commute of 25 kms at 50km/hr.

    What we can do is be consistent for each jurisdiction and use the same criteria. In this case we can say that the UK has gone up or down or that Victoria has gone up or down - and by what percentage. For this purpose it doesn't matter that much whether the UK uses number of vehicles and we use VKT. What we can't do though is comapre whether the UK is better or worse than Victoria - only that it has improved or gotten worse.

    edited to fix a heap of typos...
  4. very valid points Tony. All I know is that in twenty years of riding and driving in the UK and 3 years of the same in Victoria I know where I feel the safest, and it's not here!
  5. And that's as valid a method of comparison as any. :wink: