Transportation Accidents

The oh so sad news of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Scotland a couple of days ago where 3 people died reminded me of something I heard many years ago about the huge disparity between road and rail deaths.

The words by American commentator – Rogers E M Whitaker – were unsurprisingly about the situation in the USA but what he said back @1980 still stands – ‘Don’t get on the safe old train get on the safe old highway and get yourself killed’. The point he was making was that because railway accidents, where someone is killed, are so rare they always make media headlines whereas we take deaths on our roads in our stride as they are largely unreported in the national press due to there being so many of them.

For comparison, the latest figures I could find for Scotland showed 160 people died in reported road accidents last year [2018] – an increase of 15 on 2017 – source BBC website/Transport Scotland. See what I mean?

Note – I do appreciate that the accident at Stonehaven could have been far worse in terms of deaths and serious injuries if the sparsely populated train (because of Covid 19 I guess) had been running in more normal times.