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Looking up some numbers for something I find this.

Any specific vehicle in Congo has a some 6% chance of killing someone in a year. Guinea, near 10%.

Whut? The average person who drives for an adult lifetime will, statistically, kill 4 people while doing so?

27 thoughts on “Jeebus”

  1. The good news is it also says that there were only 3000 deaths in Guinea – which therefore must mean there are only 33k cars With a population of 11 million that at least means you only need to worry about 1 in 333 people.

  2. Vehicles in much of sub-Saharan Africa tend to have a high occupancy (and low maintenance) rate. Crash and burn a crowded minibus and there’s 12-20 dead in one go. Drinking and driving is often a local pastime as well.

  3. That’s exactly why I was looking it up. Doing my weekly column for the magazine in Iran and I needed to check the numbers.

  4. Statistics are clearly wrong – Monaco has no fatalities last year, but whenever you see them driving on television they are clearly driving at insane speeds with no concern for safety, so that can’t be right…

    And they actually claim India drives on the left, rather than the slightly more accurate wherever seems like a good idea at the time.

  5. I have no idea, but I would expect that it involves lots of people being in vehicles who are killed in accidents, rather than your average driver being a murderer. Buses, pickups and trucks full of people rather than VW Golfs with a 5* NCAP for instance.

    Think of poorly maintained buses packed to the rafters having brake failures, head-on collisions and careering into trees because the drivers are off their faces on stimulants, roads are of horrific quality, no seat belts and medical response of any kind is unavailable leading to otherwise survivable injuries becoming fatalities.

    Another thing to consider is whether these stats come from police collecting/reporting their, ummm, fines.

    But they are astonishing statistics nonetheless, and I don’t even think my above theories would account fully for such figures.

  6. Tim

    The worst driving I have ever seen in Europe was in Portugal generally and particularly early afternoon and early evening when it was clear that a majority of drivers were flat out pissed – really looked more like dodgems than public roads. Scary.

  7. I have a great deal of experience of Portuguese driving and find it not that bad to be honest. Then again, I did spend years in Moscow and have, entirely voluntarily, taken to the road in Bangladesh.

  8. BraveFart, Try Naples or Bari. Unfortunately, I spent so much time there that I stopped finding it in any way extraordinary.

  9. Driving is one of those strange risk assessment things that I can only assume people assess very differently around the world.

    In the west, if you come up to a bend, you can’t see round it, you don’t overtake a slow car in front. There’s a chance, even if implausibly small, that someone might be coming the other way, so you don’t overtake.

    My driver in China considers the time delay waiting to go round the bend down from my hotel more of a risk than doing the manoeuvre. Even if there’s someone coming the other way, they will be the one to stop. So far we’ve got away with it. One day, she’ll meet her twin coming the other way and we’ll both be in the shit.

  10. Driving across the Middle East is a surreal experience. Sometimes you wonder how they survive to kill each other.

  11. Bloke in Costa Rica

    They drive like absolute fucking morons here. There has been a severe crackdown on drunk driving but considering how Ticos drive sober it hasn’t made all that much difference. If I’m halfway across a residential street some arseholes will try driving round me rather than stopping. I just halt, give them the finger, tell them not to be a cunt (in English), and dare them to run me over. I swear one day one of ’em is going to get out and try to argue with me, and then he’s getting fucking chinned.

  12. This explains why the horn is known as “the Egyptian brake pedal”.

    Surprised that France has a death rate nearly twice ours. I have seen some twattish driving on their motorways, but generally the French are far more relaxed drivers than I see in the UK. Perhaps they are all driving off cliff top Alpine passes in winter.

  13. I averaged the 2nd column for all countries listed that drive on the left ( 340 fatalities per 100k vehicles ) and for all the countries that drive on the right ( 645 fatalities per 100k vehicles ).
    And concluded that countries should drive on the left as God intended when he made most of us right-handed.
    Do I win the Public Health England in association with the Guardian prize for Statistics?

  14. With regards to France, would their “priorité à droite” have anything to do with it?

    My brother lives in northern France and I visited two years ago. In the small towns he said he was supposed to yield to anyone entering from the bloody side streets. (?!)

  15. I can’t get passed Only 28 countries, representing 449 million people (7% of the world’s population), have adequate laws that address all five risk factors (speed, drink–driving, helmets, seat-belts and child restraints). Over a third of road traffic deaths in low- and middle-income countries are among pedestrians and cyclists.

    Damn fast-walking, drunk, helmet/seat-belt/child restraint avoiding pedestrians.

  16. That’s what we say in SA. 30% of drivers involved in fatal accidents are pissed. Therefore, 70% are sober. Obviously far more dangerous not to drink before you drive.

  17. Bloke in North Dorset

    “And they actually claim India drives on the left, rather than the slightly more accurate wherever seems like a good idea at the time.”
    My experience in New Delhi was that it was a good example of spontaneous order. I’d have been willing to make a bet that the trafficmavoed faster than if bureaucrats had insisted the all the traffic signs they wanted o impose were obeyed.

  18. Heard about 10 years ago at a multinational’s office in Guinea where they held a HSE dept sponsored local hired company driver safety awareness day.

    Instructor: You are driving on a two lane highway and come up behind a slow minibus – there is a fast truck coming in the other direction – what do you do?

    Trainee : I press my horn and go fasta!

  19. I remember reading about someone who was in a cab in India, and the driver decided to overtake another car which was overtaking an elephant going around a blind bend.

    This may explain the death rates in India.

  20. BiND

    back in 1972… the story goes that when Nigeria decided to change to driving on the right – cars were one week, trucks + buses the next.

  21. @Tim
    “I […] have, entirely voluntarily, taken to the road in Bangladesh”

    I can’t speak for Bangladesh, but this is strongly contraindicated in India, because when (not if) you’re involved in an accident, you’ll be seen as a Levanter and they’ll smell money in the water. And if a cow is involved there could well be a lynching.

    Anyway, a car with a driver costs a few quid an hour (or, if you’re with a local, a day).

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