By Doug Wright
A tragic but unfortunate reality to life in an automobile dominant culture is the resulting traffic related death count that it imparts on society. People die every year from crashes, and the total number of annual deaths has been rising noticeably in recent years, with some reports suggesting that trend is set to continue into the future.
“It paints a grim picture of life on the road.”
This devastating reality means that every time you enter a vehicle you have a risk of not only serious injury, but of losing your life – or someone else losing theirs. It paints a grim picture of life on the road, but it’s a necessary fact to accept if there’s going to be any dialogue undertaken to combat the problem.
Traffic-related deaths increased by 9% in the first half of 2016 alone, a trend that followed on from the previous year. According to data procured by the National Safety Council in the United States, this means 19,100 people lost their lives on the roads, with a serious injury count exceeding 2 million. This has poised the estimated deaths at the end of 2016 to be upwards of 40,000 – a record for the new decade.The road deaths in Australia for 2015 were 1,209.
“Some suggest this phenomenon is owed to the shaky nature of the current economic climate.”
Some suggest this phenomenon is owed to the shaky nature of the current economic climate, as unemployment rates verge on record highs, whilst simultaneously the prices of petrol are relatively low. One such piece of research puts forward the claim that this has resulted in more people taking to the roads, being aided in their decision by the recent boom in the domestic automobile industry. This has affected road-use exponentially, with the total number of collective miles driven being up by 3.3% – a statistic lodged by the Federal Highway Administration (USA).
Combative measures are being looked into in great detail, with some cities opting for revolutionary initiatives in an attempt to at least blunt the growth. Vision Zero Network has laid down a course of action whereby traffic deaths will be reduced to zero by the year 2025. The central idea behind the plan is the recognition that crashes are avoidable, and in accepting such a fact, wheels be set in motion to set the zero traffic fatality goal as not only a priority, but as an achievable fete.
America leads the statistical ladder in the total number of annual traffic-related fatalities per capita, amongst the developed countries category. This count is double that of both Canada and France. In Los Angeles, the majority of deaths seem to be situated in a number of ‘hot-spot’ areas that pose greater threat than other areas in terms of risk of crashing. 65% of the city’s traffic deaths happen in these increased-risk zones, with the number of crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists also being substantially higher than elsewhere.
It’s also important to note that low-income areas that feature higher unemployment rates and lower household GDPs are disproportionately represented in motor vehicle crash statistics.
Reduced funding on road infrastructure and the lack of presence of crossing mechanisms are said to cause this higher representation in the data – 12% of pedestrians and bicyclists being killed at the helm of left turns.
A hot-zone area for intersection collisions – where Hollywood and Highland meet – was reduced of its 13 incidents last year, to zero in the months succeeding the implementation of an overhauled intersection plan. Showing that increased attention to detail and effort in combating the problem can be met with success.
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Doug Wright, is a transformed survivor of a head-on near death vehicle collision.
Passionate about helping people overcome their inner most fears, especially when recovering from trauma, Doug has survived to share his courageous story … his motto is “never give up”.
Away from his everyday activities, Doug invests his spare time playing his electric guitar, knocking out an eclectic mix of Eagles hits and fishing for coral trout in Airlee Beach, Northern Queensland.