If you see the nightly news on the TV or spend any time with a TV on in the background, you will see reports of motor vehicle accidents and adverts against 'bad' driving. They can be devastating. The accidents, that is, not the ads or reports.
The ads are a waste of time. The reports just sad facts.
The 'bad' driving adverts usually focus on drinking and speeding: occasionally about drugs. I often wonder who they think takes note of them.
I do not want to make light of the incidence of accidents. But I would like to see some semblance of perspective used by the 'safety' authorities and the news people.
In Oz, as in many countries, we have a large number of road accidents. Some 30,000 people are injured on our roads annually.
In 2013 those who died on the roads in Oz numbered 1193.
The police go on the tele to remonstrate. They sometimes get quite angry; certainly terse and threatening. It is our 'fault' of course. We are terrible. We do not care enough.
And of course we pay little attention. We are apparantly oblivious to facts, busy as we are dealing with the traffic every day. Just ask any motorist who’s been caught in a peak-hour traffic jam lately: they’ll tell you that Australia’s roads are crowded. You have to keep your wits about you.
But even they might be surprised at the latest figures from Roy Morgan’s automotive data, which reveal that there are almost 15.5 million drivers on our roads nationwide, driving an average of 15,530km each per annum.
And here is the perspective. In Oz we drive some 237 thousand, million kilometres every year.
237,000,000,000That's a lot.
And ONLY 1193 are killed, and ONLY 30,000 are injured.
The likelihood of being killed on Australian roads is so small that it barely makes a creditable showing on the 'causes of death' lists.
Your chances of being seriously injured: 0.00196
Of being killed: 0.0000779
Vehicles from half a ton to 20 tons hurtle around at 50 to 100 Kmph and the accident rate is miniscule.
When do we ever get some praise?
The vast majority of people DO CARE.
But we are berated.
The vast majority are instinctively self-protective. They drive to the conditions. They are skilled at driving. They are 'automatically' careful. Our lives matter to us.
It is not as though accidents are deliberate. No-one goes out with the intention of having an accident.
Granted, there are incompetent, irrational people around: there are immature, thick, stupid people with little grasp on reality. They will get drunk. They will go too fast for the conditions; they will take drugs.
What those folk will NOT do is take any notice of adverts about drinking and driving or speeding.
You and me are not those few; that small proportion to whom adverts will not speak at all, because the 'safety' authorities have no idea how to get through to them. Instead they berate you and me.
No wonder we do not take notice either.
Of course, there are countries where a much larger proportion of people are complete lunatics. But Oz ain't Russia.
Take care out there, and thank you for being such splendid drivers.