spend an awful long time in our cars.
The average driver spends nearly an hour
and a half a day in the car, so obviously
the risks involved in driving are something
we should take very seriously.
gets a lot of bad publicity and there
are a lot of myths about how dangerous
it is - but the fact is that, kilometre
for kilometre, it is riskier to be a pedestrian
or a jogger than to drive a car, or ride
a motorbike for that matter.
are also more likely to be injured at work
or at home than we are driving a car. But
accidents do happen and the reason why a
lot of them happen is because people break
In fact 50% of all fatal accidents occur
because someone has broken the law. The
most frequent reason is breaking the speed
limit and the second most frequent is drunk
third cause of fatal accidents is when a
driver falls asleep, a surprising 10%. When
we drive is also a significant factor in
assessing our risk of having an accident.
Driving at night, for example, is four times
as dangerous as during the day.
This is mainly because visibility is so
much worse at night. By day a driver's visibility
is roughly 500 metres, but at night driving
with headlights it is much worse, maybe
as little as 120 metres.
are the most dangerous times and days to
be on the road? Well, between 2.00 and 3.00
a.m. on a Saturday morning is the most dangerous
time of the week, when you are most likely
to have a fatal accident.
So if possible, try to stay off the road
then. The time of day when you are most
likely to have a non-fatal accident is Friday
afternoon between 4.00 and 6.00 p.m.
is when people are finishing work for the
week and it is a time when drivers need
to concentrate especially hard. Curiously,
Tuesday is the safest day of the week to
be on the road.
Which brings us onto where accidents happen.
Most fatal accidents happen on country roads,
so highways or freeways (what you call A-roads
or motorways) are much safer.
70% of fatal accidents happen within 30
or 40 kilometres of where we live. Why should
that be? The answer seems to be that we
concentrate less when we are in familiar
territory. And finally let's look at who
Another myth about driving is that women
are worse drivers than men. While it's true
that kilometre for kilometre women have
more minor accidents than men, a man is
twice as likely to be killed in a car accident
as a woman.
take too many unnecessary risks when they're
driving. Women are more careful and cautious
drivers. But the most important factor of
all is age.
A driver aged between 17 and 24 has double
the risk of an older driver. Which is why
a lot of people would like to see the age
limit for having a driving licence raised