When the country’s skint, the roads are safer
Road Safety GB have reported that there's a clear link between how safe our roads are and how the UK's economy is doing. The International Transport Forum report looked at how the economic splat that was 2007 and 2008 affected road safety.
Credit crunch crashes
Sadly, we don't become safer drivers just because we have less in our wallets. We get more worried about big outlays and stop spending so much on petrol, holidays and general gadding about.
A bad economy means:
- Static or decreasing levels of traffic as fewer people buy cars or avoid driving to save money
- Those most likely to be unemployed in bad times - young people - are also the highest risk road users, so there are fewer crashes when they can't afford to drive
- Less disposable income makes people more cautious, lowering drink driving and curbing the speed as people try to save petrol
- People take fewer pleasure trips - staying home is cheaper
What about the other stuff?
The other, less road safety-positive things that happen when we don't have as much money - like sticking with your rubbish old car for longer - are apparently outweighed by the positive benefits.
So - swings and roundabouts, right? We may be poor but at least we're alive to eat from the McDonald's Saver Menu another day... Sob.