More cars, fewer pedestrian deaths

Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter have a new book about risk — The Norm Chronicles: Stories and Numbers About Dangers and Death — and it does actually have new material on what is by now a somewhat worn out topic.  Here is one example:

In 1951 there were fewer than 4 million registered vehicles on the roads in Britain.  They meandered the highways free of restrictions such as road markings, traffic calming, certificates for roadworthiness, or low-impact bumpers.  Children played in the streets and walked to school.  The result was that 907 children under 15 were killed on the roads in 1951, including 707 pedestrians and 130 cyclists.  Even this was less than the 1,400 a year killed before the war.

The carnage had dropped to 533 child deaths in 1995, to 124 in 2008, to 81 in 2009, and in 2010 to 55 — each a tragedy for the family, but still a staggering 90 percent fall over 60 years.

You can buy the book here.


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