Roads Kill?

Road traffic accident, Redheugh Bridge, Gateshead
Image by freefotouk via Flickr

Once again the media is packed reports of horrific serious and fatal road collisions and, the County roads have been littered with the dead and injured but why? 

The stories are usually full of comments like; ‘a well-known accident black spot‘ or perhaps ‘this dangerous piece of road has claimed yet another victim’. I suppose that’s journalism for you, a need to make something sensational to attract readers. The truth of the matter is, there is rarely such a thing as a piece of dangerous road per se and an ‘accident black spot’ is simply a location where there have been several collisions.

Police are appealing for witnesses after a 26-year-old motorcyclist died in a collision with a car on the A1237 in North Yorkshire. (BBC News

A couple killed when their motorcycle collided head-on with a car in North Yorkshire have been named by police. Dean and Helen Slater, aged 40 and 37, were on a Yamaha bike which collided with a car on the slip-road for the A64 from the A162 last Wednesday. (BBC News

A 57-year-old woman who died after a collision on the A64 in North Yorkshire has been named by police. (BBC News)

Notice I (and the police these days) refer to the mayhem as ‘collisions’ as opposed to ‘accidents’. The fact is there is no such thing as an ‘accident’, generally there is a reason i.e. the principle of cause and effect. More often than not, the ‘reason’ is human. Too much speed, too much drink, not enough sleep or insufficient concentration are common factors in most ‘collisions’.

To suggest that a piece of inanimate tarmacadam is the cause of the problem is, in many ways, simply a diversion from the fact… Far too many drivers never consider, they are actually pilots of lethal weapons!

As you dive into our latest plush GT tin cocoon (or aboard your two-wheeled Exocet missile), complete with Automatic Braking System, Traction Control and the other myriad of ‘safety features’, think before you turn the stereo up loud, accelerate away and telephone your intended destination to say “Hi, I’m on my way”.

Think before you have that extra beer or, set off for work in the morning after a heavy night at the party. Buffont your hair and put your sodding make-up on before you get in the car, not as you drive to your next socialite venue. And if you’re on a motorcycle you should ride as if all those plonkers above are just searching for you to knock you off your machine!

If you had spent 30yrs of your life attending collisions, of going to people’s homes to tell them a loved one is dead and, having been involved in a collision where your best mate was killed and you nearly were, I bet you would look at driving/riding with a whole different view-point.

Bid to reduce grim toll as biker deaths reach 15: AS the grim toll of motorcycle deaths continues to rise, North Yorkshire’s safety experts have launched a new attempt to turn the tide. Fifteen bikers have died on the county’s roads so this year – three of them last week alone – and the figure already equals the total for the previous 12 months. (Northern Echo 30-08-2010)

It’s more likely to be you (or another driver) that seriously injures someone or worse, not the fault of the road you were on!

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