Monday, 11 January 2010

numbers don't lie?

These should sit and stay.

Anyway, I heard recently that the UK is a more dangerous place to drive than the US. So I looked it up.

US has an estimated population of 308,333,000.
Auto accidents for 2005: 6,420,000.
Fatalities: 42,636.

UK has estimated population of 61,383,000.
Auto accidents in 2005: 271,017.
Fatalities: 3,201.

Maybe they figure it different than we do, but according to the numbers, the US has 5 times as many people as the UK. But the US had 23 times as many accidents, and 14 times as many traffic related fatalities.

What with that, and the weather, I'm beginning to think we should stay here! But, I do miss my family and my dog. sigh. Makes me re-appreciate my favorite hymn, "When we all get to Heaven."


Anonymous said...

I'm waiting on Wil's comment on the statistics, ha.jcr

Anonymous said...

It has to do with rate of accidents/deaths per capita -- so many accidents per 100,000 population. I can't remember how to do the math.:( Found this website for the USA, but couldn't find a similar one for the UK.

Wil said...

"I can't remember how to do the math..."

It's easy. Divide the accidents by the population (to get the per capita rate).

From the statistics that Shari posted, it's obvious that the U.S. has more accidents per capita; no need to do the math. :-) (But actual DOT stats indicate only 37,000 fatal crashes in the U.S. for the year 2008.)

However, statistics *do* lie (here I go, Janice... :-)

Not really lie, but if used improperly, they can certainly deceive. All the statistics above show is that the average U.S. citizen is more likely to die in an auto crash than the average UK citizen.

That's different than "it's safer to drive in one country than the other."

It doesn't take into account what percentage of the population actually drives, for one thing. Also doesn't take into account what types of roads they're on, or -- and this is the big one -- who is at fault (many U.S. fatalities were actually one-car accidents; in other words, they were killed by themselves, not by the unsafeness of the country...)

I could go on... :-)

MamaOlive said...

Thanks, Wil. And JC and Mum for your interest.
I should have cited my sources... I got US population from Wikipedia, and crash stats from - I think it was The only official US document I could find was by county or something and I didn't want to take the time to decipher it.

The UK population showed up on a google search, and their crash stats were on an official government publication. Fatalities included all "traffic related" fatalities, so I guess that means car vs pedestrian, etc.

Wil said...

I just thought of something else, too, Shari. When someone told you the "UK is a more dangerous place to drive," they might not have meant fatal wrecks...

For instance, NYC drivers sustain many times more fender-benders per capita than do Oklahoma drivers. But you're more likely to die in a wreck in Oklahoma. (Higher speeds, on worse roads...)

It might be the same for the UK -- more accidents, but less fatalities...

Ganeida said...

In Oz it's definitely an age related thing. Young drivers+high powered cars+ alcohol[&/or drugs] = equals messy splats on the roads.Our road education is definitely not impacting our young men. There was a nasty one down Melbourne way last week. 140k in an 80k zone. Lost control, hit a tree. Car split completely in 2 & so squashed what was left was almost unrecognizable. 4 dead. Insurance for our young drivers is so high I'm listed as the main driver of Lid's car [I actually drive it more than she does so it is actually true] which brings her costs down by at least a third, maybe more. I don't pay it so am not 100% sure.