Woohoo and similar exclamations. January is underway and we can look forward to a pleasant Spring and a glorious Summer. Live in hope folks; always live in hope. You might, for example, be planning a driving holiday which is great, but be careful what you wish for. Let us start from the premise that driving a car is inherently dangerous.
We hurtle about the place at speed in a tonne of rushing metal and wonder why accidents happen. Sure, most drivers will probably have faith in their own ability but it’s not you, it’s the rest of them, isn’t it? You simply do not know what is just around the corner, or indeed who is just around the corner. Probably the world’s most stupendously brainless motorist.
That established, let us go one step further and assume you are planning a driving holiday overseas in foreign climes. Now that is a whole other ball game. We know that many thousands of people die on our roads and many more get injured; so what’s it like in the rest of the motoring world?
I have been reading some research (commissioned a while back to be fair) by the World Health Organisation – who ought to know about these things – revealed the most deadly countries in the world to go for a spin. If you are planning a foreign jaunt to unknown places then listen up – this one’s for you.
You may be encouraged to note that, on a worldwide average, the death rate in motoring accidents per one hundred thousand people is just 18, so the odds are on your side – depending upon where you visit of course.
Travel to Namibia (where the roads are at least as good as the UK’s apparently) and that ‘per 100k’ figure goes up to a less hopeful 45. Thailand isn’t much better with 44 whilst Iranians lose 38 souls (discounting the present horrors). At least two dozen countries have a figure in excess of 30 per 100,000 and they are spread throughout the globe so it’s not a local issue as it were.
The safest place to have a nice drive is in the Maldives where the number is a healthy two per 100k. On the other hand you can’t drive very far and, in any event, it probably works out as a higher percentage of the population if you calculate the figures that way. Also, by the time you can afford to go the Maldives, global warming will probably have submerged them a bit. So, four-wheel drive then.
Switzerland – where the residents are not allowed to do anything that might be construed as dangerous (or fun) – has a lowly number of 5. I can assure you, to my eternal shame, that the Swiss rozzers take a dim view of practically everything. Including skinny-dipping in their expensive lakes. Also, don’t try bribes because they are Swiss and therefore have more money than you. The Swiss number at the time of the research was the same as Britain, you will be encouraged to learn, and less than Germany, France and the USA. The answer then is to take your driving holidays in good old Blighty or, if you really, really need an authentic giant Toblerone then Switzerland should be your second choice. Geoff Maxted