1700+ killed in transport tragedy but no coverage?

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Over 1700 people die on GB roads each year (source RRCGB) but it's seen as normal and goes unreported. 150ish people die on a plane and it's seen as exceptional, gets wall to wall coverage and Something Must Be Done.

Now, all sympathies to the bereaved of the French plane crash, but how do we get more sympathy for the bereaved of the GB roads disaster and Vision Zero designs adopted?
 
Location
Loch side.
If you want mass sympathy and publicity for dying in an accident of sorts, you better not die in dibs and drabs. Club in with a few hundred others and do it all at once.
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
You mean something like this:
640px-Killed_on_British_Roads.png

Yes, 1700 is a lot, but it's half as many as a few years ago, and about a fifth of the number back in the 1960s. A lot has been done to improve road safety and reduce the road death toll over the years.
 

Turbo Rider

Just can't reMember
Because it's a comparatively exceptional circumstance for a plane to crash, whereas people die on the road every day, so it grabs the attention quicker. There's also the mass family & friend interviews to heighten the hysteria.

In that light, I suppose the best thing would be to petition broadcasters and other news agencies to adopt a policy where they actively seek out grieving relatives and friends of road accident victims.

Things that go boom though, will probably always attract more attention and were I to get run over, I'm not sure I'd want anyone I know being hounded like that. Sad times.
 

Origamist

Legendary Member
Location
Sandbach
You mean something like this:
640px-Killed_on_British_Roads.png

Yes, 1700 is a lot, but it's half as many as a few years ago, and about a fifth of the number back in the 1960s. A lot has been done to improve road safety and reduce the road death toll over the years.
I was talking to a registrar A&E doctor earlier this year and I asked him about the improvements in trauma care in A&E. He said that there was a major improvement circa 1990 that was the result of recommendations from a Royal College of Surgeons report from 1988 that dealt with the treatment of serious trauma injuries. This seem to be borne out by srw's graph of road fatalities. I'm not certain if there were significant road danger reduction interventions at this time as well (drink driving, seat belts etc), but I'd hazard the improvement in trauma care is key in the sharp decline of fatalities.
 
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John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
Location
Crewe
I was talking to a registrar A&E doctor earlier this year and I asked him about the improvements in trauma care in A&E. He said that there was a major improvement circa 1990 that was the result of recommendations from a Royal College of Surgeons report from 1988 that dealt with the treatment of serious trauma injuries. This seem to be borne out by srw's graph of road fatalities. I'm not certain if there were significant road danger reduction interventions at this time as well, but I'd hazard the improvement in trauma care is key in the sharp decline of fatalities.
And the fact that more and more people are well protected in very safe (for the occupants) cars.

Incidentally, Sandbach? Just down the road! /waves
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
I was talking to a registrar A&E doctor earlier this year and I asked him about the improvements in trauma care in A&E. He said that there was a major improvement circa 1990 that was the result of recommendations from a Royal College of Surgeons report from 1988 that dealt with the treatment of serious trauma injuries. This seem to be borne out by srw's graph of road fatalities. I'm not certain if there were significant road danger reduction interventions at this time as well (drink driving, seat belts etc), but I'd hazard the improvement in trauma care is key in the sharp decline of fatalities.
AFAIK it's a mixture of many things - better healthcare, improvements in car and road design, improved awareness of road safety, and legal changes like the seatbelt law.
 

w00hoo_kent

One of the 64K
AFAIK it's a mixture of many things - better healthcare, improvements in car and road design, improved awareness of road safety, and legal changes like the seatbelt law.
I know in the late 80's if I saw a big car crash I'd expect people to have died in it, but nowadays I'd expect them to survive it. A lot changes were made in car design during the 90's and beyond. Is there a similar graph split up by road user? I wonder if the line for pedestrians would follow a pretty similar shape.
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
I know in the late 80's if I saw a big car crash I'd expect people to have died in it, but nowadays I'd expect them to survive it. A lot changes were made in car design during the 90's and beyond. Is there a similar graph split up by road user? I wonder if the line for pedestrians would follow a pretty similar shape.
I'm not going to look now (other things to do), but the answer is yes. As it is for cyclists - although since pedestrians and cyclists aren't protected by a ton of metal the decline is slightly less steep.
 

Origamist

Legendary Member
Location
Sandbach
And the fact that more and more people are well protected in very safe (for the occupants) cars.

Incidentally, Sandbach? Just down the road! /waves
Cars have certainly improved in terms of protecting occupants and I've no doubt the deployment of airbags in vehicles (which became more widespread in the mid 90s in the UK) played a role in the decrease I mentioned earlier.

Yes, I'm now in sleepy Elworth!
 
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Origamist

Legendary Member
Location
Sandbach
AFAIK it's a mixture of many things - better healthcare, improvements in car and road design, improved awareness of road safety, and legal changes like the seatbelt law.
I'm sure that's correct and they would certainly account for the general trend downwards..

I'm really interested in the sharp decline after 1990 - does anyone know what other factors are credited with this sharp fall?
 
OP
mjr

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I'm really interested in the sharp decline after 1990 - does anyone know what other factors are credited with this sharp fall?
I thought the sharp falls looked like they might coincide with recessions, which might mean a combination of reduced traffic and roadworks being used as a public-sector stimulus. Possible checks for this might be to plot the casualty figures against traffic levels and miles of road, either as an axis or a scaling.
 

Hitchington

Lovely stuff
Location
That London
A car can have the greatest protective safety measures in the world, but if you're travelling at speed and are stopped suddenly there is a risk of serious internal damage done by your squishy internal organs (brain, heart, spleen, liver etc.) being rammed against the inside of your skull or ribcage. No amount of reinforcement to bodywork, air-bags, seatbelts can prevent this lifethretening injury
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
I thought the sharp falls looked like they might coincide with recessions, which might mean a combination of reduced traffic and roadworks being used as a public-sector stimulus. Possible checks for this might be to plot the casualty figures against traffic levels and miles of road, either as an axis or a scaling.
Recessions and oil price spikes shave traffic (and hence casualties) down, they don't cause a sharp fall. I think the 90s fall is most likely to be associated with the seatbelt laws, the increasing clampdowns on drink driving and leaps forward in car safety. If there was also some motivation for people to change their car at the same time (I can't remember) that might also increase the average safety of the car stock.
 

buggi

Bird Saviour
Location
Solihull
Motorway pile ups get coverage!!

There does seem to be an attitude that road traffic accidents are just a normal course of life. I complained to ITV central news the other day. They did a report on cycle safety (a local hospital invited cyclists to come and look at a real HGV) but the reporting was lazy . They made out like ALL HGVs had technology (sensors, cameras etc) and they used another cyclists helmet cam footage, filmed in the rain, to show why drivers "simply don't see cyclists". Obviously the rain totally obscured the cyclist in front as you would expect because the camera didn't have wipers!! The whole report blamed cyclists for being in the wrong place and made out like the reason we weren't seen was totally our fault or just one of those things, when in fact the cause is ignorant driving.
 
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