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The road toll is bad, but here’s some good news

Nothing hits the headlines quite like a fatal car crash. It’s a tragic human drama laced with death, drama and mangled metal and it’s one we can all relate to. If it bleeds it leads. The sheer frequency of car crash stories, whether online, in newspapers or the television is enough to make you believe that road fatalities are constantly on the up-and-up.

It may seem hard to believe but there’s actually some good news amongst all this death and carnage. The road toll is heading down and it’s been doing so for quite some years. In fact the fall in fatal car crashes is quite dramatic – it’s come down by more than half over the last 20 years. That’s not an argument for complacency, of course, one death on our roads is one too many, but it’s at least reassuring that those grim statistics are heading in the right direction.

You may be surprised to learn that Australian road fatalities peaked as far back as 1970 at 3798 deaths, more-or-less levelled-out for five years, then started falling dramatically from the 1980s. Road deaths are now down by two-thirds since that 1970 peak and Australians are seven times less likely to die in a crash than we were in the bad old days.

In recent years the rate of fall has levelled off or even risen slightly. That’s caused public health experts to call for a broader approach to the road toll addressing how issues in society, such as fatigue and drug abuse, are killing people on our roads.

Safer roads and cars

The fall in fatalities over the years is definitely good news. So what’s caused it? A number of things have contributed: compulsory seat belts and child restraints, helmets for motorcyclists and bike riders, safer roads, a get-tough attitude to drinking and driving, as well as drug affected drivers and improved emergency responses. They’ve all played an important role. RBTs have reduced drink driving and those dreaded radars have made us less likely to speed (bless them!).

And there’s another factor that’s also been crucial. Today’s cars are vastly safer than those of years ago – even the cheapest of cheap vehicles is way ahead of its predecessors when it comes to protecting its driver and passengers. These days it’s not just Volvos and Mercedes that are safe.

Modern cars much safer

For starters modern cars have carefully designed crumple zones to protect the occupants in a crash. They absorb the impact of a collision while those inside remain protected in a strong metal cage. Advanced seat belts and an array of airbags further protect the driver and passenger so that it’s the car that cops the walloping in a crash, rather than the human bodies inside. In the bad old days it was just the opposite.

But you’re also much less likely to crash that car in the first place, thanks to better handling and better brakes. Modern cars come with a veritable scrabble set of safety technology such as Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Electronic stability control (ESC), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and more. They’re all designed to improve control over your vehicle and to keep it a safe distance from others. Today’s “smart” cars keep you on the safe and narrow and aware of where your fellow road users are. They keep control of your car when you can’t and even save you from danger when you’re too slow to react.

Upgrade to safety

If your vehicle’s getting rather ancient than you owe it to yourself and your family to upgrade to a safe modern vehicle. And if you’re in charge of a vehicle fleet then you owe it to your employees.

Either way it makes sense to contact Fleetcare today for a chat about getting yourself or your employees behind the wheel of a new vehicle with a novated lease or other commercial vehicle finance option. So contact us today on 134 333.

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