Figuring it out

"I think you're still safer here than on the roads."

“I think you’re still safer here than on the roads.”

First, the good news from the Times of Israel:

Israel marked a 50-year low in roads deaths in 2012, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Wednesday.

The tally of traffic accidents in Israel, the number injured, and the number of fatalities also marked double-digit drops in 2012 compared to the previous year.

The number of people killed on the road in 2012 was 263, the report said, 23 percent lower than in 2011 and the lowest figure in 49 years.

Police registered 12,484 accidents with casualties in 2012, 11.6% lower than the year before.

One thing the CBS emphasized was that using crosswalks wasn’t a guarantee of safety — 72% of collisions with pedestrians occurred at crosswalks.

The breakdown also found that men were three times as likely to be the driver in a car crash as women, with 74% of the drivers registered in accidents with injuries being men, and only 26% women.

The figures don’t include accidents involving Palestinians in the West Bank.

Note the male: female ratio of drivers involved in fatal accidents.

I am pleased – surprised, but pleased – at the drop, because the driving standards on the roads in Israel are bad. Very bad. Very, very, bad. Very, very, very… (Nurse! Get him his medication, quickly!) So, it’s good to know the number of fatalities has decreased. The cynic in me wants to know if the main factor is the high level of medical skill available in the hospitals, but since that’s impossible to know or measure, we will move on.

Where will we move to? I know; how about the UK? What are the driving figures like for the UK? I’m glad you asked that…

According to this source, the figure for UK fatalities in 2011 was 1,901. And, according to this source, the 2012 figure was 1,760. (So, they have also experienced a decline.) The UK population is 63 million. If we divide the fatalities by the population in millions, we get these results:

  • 2011: 1,901/63 = 30.2
  • 2012: 1,760/63 = 27.9

How does Israel compare? It has a population of 8 million. Therefore:

  • 2011: 341/8 = 42.6
  • 2012: 263/8 = 32.9

Israeli road fatalities are running at a level roughly 17% higher than in the UK: 32.9 per million, as opposed to 27.9 per million. Not as bad as I thought it might be, but still bad enough. Perhaps when the new government has finished sorting out the economy, they can turn their attention to the situation on the roads…

Meantime, be careful out there.