Monday, 14 December 2015

TERRORISM & ROAD SAFETY


Death by terrorism has the world in the grip of terror

The latest statistics from World Atlas show that in the 15 most dangerous countries for terrorism 29,740 died in a single year. But a little research has turned up some interesting figures that throw a wet blanket on terrorism compared with others ways to die. The same 15 countries have also claimed the lives of 392,444 people in road accidents during the same period. Here are the comparisons:

            Country                                            Terrorism Deaths                        Road Deaths
1          Iraq                                                     12,799                                                 9,962
2          Syria                                                    7,011                                                 4,669
3          Pakistan                                              4,279                                               30,131
4          Afghanistan                                        1,704                                                 6,209
5          Lebanon                                              1,304                                                    942
6          India                                                        438                                             238,562
7          Somalia                                                  408                                                2,000 Est.
8          Yemen                                                     392                                                  5,698
9          Libya                                                        306                                                 1,000 Est.
10        United States                                          272                                                36,166
11         Turkey                                                     241                                                   7,255
12        Russia                                                      221                                                27,991
13        Egypt                                                        211                                                 10,729
14        Philippines                                              210                                                   8,499
15        Thailand                                                  154                                                  26,312

TOTALS                                                         29,740                                                392,444

From the table above we can see that people living in India are 545 times more likely to die in an auto accident than by terrorism. People in Thailand are 170 times more likely to die in an auto accident, and Americans are 133 times more exposed to dying in a road crash than by an act of terrorism. In Russia 126 people die in road accidents to each death by terrorism.

If this accident had been an act of terrorism
it would featured in every newspaper, and on
every radio and television news
program around the world.
But it was just another road crash
Overall, in the 15 countries listed above people on average are 13 times more likely to die in a road accident. Only Iraq, Syria and Lebanon have a death rate by terrorism higher than their road fatality rate.

Worldwide, 32,700 deaths occurred due to terrorism annually in the latest figures available. Meanwhile, during the same period 1.24 million people died in road crashes, giving a world average of one death by terrorism to every 38 deaths in road accidents. Let’s not start on the statistics for homicide, heart attack, stroke, and accidents at home and at work. That’s another can of worms.

So why is the world so pre-occupied with terrorism while more than a million die every year on the roads? Why are governments going to such great lengths to protect their borders and screen suspicious-looking (or different-looking) new arrivals, and prepare for war, while close by road madness kills someone every few minutes?

Terrorism? No. Just another
road crash
Perhaps it is nothing more than a matter of what makes news and what does not. A terror attack like 911 certainly has the ability to get the attention of the people with almost 3,000 people gone in one hit. But 3,000 deaths on American roads not only happens in a single month, it happens every month of every year. Death on the roads is so common it has become tragically acceptable, until of course, it happens in one’s own family.

The truth about both terrorism and road safety is that governments around the world lack leadership. They allow media generated mass hysteria to rule their legislatures. That of course is not new. The great showman dictators of history knew how to plug into the mob mentality. Presidential candidate Donald Trump knows about that too. We have heard many time what Trump is going to do with immigrants and terrorists. He talks about little else, but what is he planning to do about bad drivers? What are any of the presidential candidates promising to do?

What is the United Nations doing about road safety? Nothing! Yet there is so much the UN could do, if they too weren’t so concerned with terrorism. The UN is in a unique position to turn road safety around by creating a special UN organisation for road safety with the aim of having the whole world adopt universal rules and standards for everything automotive.

If the UN could get its act together, the annual road toll of 1.24 million lives lost could be reduced to under 1 million within five years and below 500,000 within ten years. Even then the road toll would still be many times higher than the toll from terrorism.