We frequently hear news reports that the “death toll” on our roads is increasing. Obviously the loss of even one life is one life too many.
However if you take into account the increasing number of cars/drivers on the road and the increasing number of total kilometres travelled by the total road users, the rate at which accidents/deaths occur in relation to the number of road users/vehicles has been steadily decreasing over time. This decrease is generally considered to have occurred because of improvements in the technology built into vehicles. Anti-skid brakes, all wheel drive and electronic skid control systems are more common in vehicles (not to mention compulsory wearing of seat belts), however it is thought that drivers are to some extent driving faster or in a more aggressive manner due to a belief that the improved technology makes it “safer” to drive faster.
The experts say that if drivers did not drive in that way that there would have been an even greater decrease in the rate of accidents. No matter how much the technology improves the effect of natural forces such as centrifugal forces on a bend do not alter. If drivers are driving faster such natural forces mean that crashes will still occur and lives will unfortunately be lost.
This Easter and Anzac Day holiday period please plan not just your holiday, but also plan for safe and sensible driving, taking appropriate breaks and focusing on the road and the driving conditions. The most effective safety device in a car is still an alert and appropriately cautious driver.