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Why I dislike driving, is it easier/less dangerous outside america?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ideogenous_mover, Aug 8, 2022.

  1. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    First of all, I viscerally dislike driving in general. It makes me pretty anxious, and I generally avoid it if I can. 12 years ago I was driving an old 1984 ford f-150, and I failed to make it completely up an icy hill in the country. I slid back down the hill, from the top of the hill, and went off road at the bottom, with the rear getting chewed apart when it made contact with a stout maple tree.

    I also smacked my head on the steel interior truck frame, and had to get stitches there. I think my memory capacity after that, did get slightly poorer

    But anecdotes aside, if you google american driving deaths in 2021, the immediate result says 42,915. In contrast I was trying figure out what recent road deaths were in the UK, and it seems to be saying it's something around 1500, which doesn't seem believable, (given proportional comparison to the american rate) but maybe they are dividing up the number in some other way that I am not understanding at a glance.

    In any case, the articles I read on this topic of driving danger have seemed to always analyze driver error, and only sparsely include 'structural error.' For example, I can't think of a sound reason why they might create extremely short on-ramps, that enter extremely high-speed roads with no merge lane. Do such things exist in your country?
     
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  2. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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    I suppose it depends what your idea of short and high are; but I wouldn't say it is a particular issue in the UK.

    Country by country stats:

    - List of countries by traffic-related death rate - Wikipedia

    ...which shows...

    the US does indeed look relatively more dangerous than the UK. (Obviously France and Italy are not great either :rolleyes: )
     
  3. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    It is easy getting on and off motorways in the UK. With generous acceleration lanes.
    I thought that you had no high speed roads in the USA but had a universal 65mph speed limit.
    I find it strange that you have such a high death rate on your roads

    Stats show road deaths by 100,000 population

    Monaco 0
    UK 2.9
    Canada 5.8
    USA. 22.4
    Liberia 35.9

    Most of western Europe is under 3. however Germany with unlimited speed motorways has only 3.7
    So speed alone is not the issue.

    It would suggest that the USA has a disproportionate number of bad drivers. Poor infrastructure and low maintenance.
     
    #3 Terrywoodenpic, Aug 8, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2022
  4. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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  5. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    My impression, from the 2 years I spent in the USA, is that your freeway network suffers a bit, like your electricity distribution system, from being a 1st generation one. You built your network early, while much of Europe, being poorer after the war, watched - and learnt how to do it a bit better, later. The short on/off ramps, with sharp turns - sometimes leading into/out of the fast lane, Yikes!! - appalled me. The other thing about US driving is the standards are slack as hell. It's seen as an essential right, because society is so car-dependent. The driving test, which I took on arrival, is a joke compared to the British one. And as a result, one does see an awful lot of really bad driving. But by and large in the US you can get away with it, as there is so much space. Roads are wide.

    Driving in the UK is not a lot of fun either. Roads are crowded, so you need to be very alert all the time, watching your mirrors as well as the road ahead and constantly anticipating what the stupidest driver ahead might just possibly try to do. And be calm enough not to get frustrated. I've given up listening to music while driving, now. I need 100% attention on the driving. It was the same when I lived in the Netherlands. France seems to have lower density of traffic (outside the main cities) so I prefer driving there. But the worst place in Europe for driving, in my experience, is Belgium. I have no idea why. They are quite mad and dangerous there. Almost as bad as Dubai, where I drove (very defensively, in a solid, bright RED 4WD, with roo bars) for 4 years in the mid 80s.

    I drive little now. I use the bike for all the local errands and shopping. Once a week I visit my father in his nursing home by car, because of the distance, but apart from that the car gets used mainly for annual trips France and to take my son up to Scotland to university, which we tend to make into a sort of road trip holiday with sightseeing stops and visiting friends and relations.
     
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  6. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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    For Italians, a red light is just a suggestion :p
     
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  7. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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    Our new (pre-loved) car hasn't got a CD player! :eek: What's that all about. :mad: I'm used to listening to at least one Bruckner symphony on my short drive to work. I tried to bluetooth my mobile online mp3 dongle port music centre using the QR code selector but gave up after three days. :(
     
  8. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Yes. The one thing they will stop for is a Catholic priest crossing the road. I remember in Naples in the 8os waiting in vain at a pedestrian crossing for the traffic to stop and then a priest showed up, in the full rig: soutane and wide-brimmed hat. He held up his hand - and it was like Moses parting the Red Sea. Everyone screeched to a halt, he gave them his blessing as he went over, they all crossed themselves...and then drove on again.
     
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  9. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Yeah, I don't do it any more. It's partly because, as a singer, I listen to it too intently. And, to be frank, I'm getting old and I'm less good at multi-tasking.
     
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  10. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    Same here, it is much safer to drive without trying to listen to music.

    @ideogenous_mover in Australia we do have some dangerous short entry lanes including entry lanes which enter on turns or have zero vision of oncoming traffic due to obstructions in the line of sight.

    In my opinion
     
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  11. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    That slicked back hair?

    It's all from the wind as the pavement merges as one with the lines.

    Because Mr Ferrari wanted it that way.
     
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  12. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Wow...US rate is basically double the Australian.

    Yep, in some places we have the short merge. Other places it's better.

    When I lived in New Zealand they used to encourage drivers to 'merge like a zip' because of their short on ramps.

    One big road safety thing that's been going on here for quite some time is the removal of railway level crossings, slowly replacing them all with over/underpasses.
     
  13. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    You got a smart phone?
     
  14. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I doubt that driving is that much better anywhere else, generally speaking. Obviously it's different from the city to the suburbs to rural driving. And from streets to highways. I suspect the worst of it is in the commercial areas of the suburbs where streets and highways are constantly intermingled, with higher speeds and lots of In and out and turning going on. It's the higher speeds that cause the deaths. But I'm betting the number of vehicle altercations is as high in Europe as anywhere.
     
  15. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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    Yeah (known in these parts as a "mobile") That's what I was trying to connect up.
     
  16. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Driving in Germany is very different from driving in Italy.

    And both are waaaay different to Malaysia.
     
  17. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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    The only safe Italian city for pedestrians is Venice :D
     
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  18. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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    From previous posts and stats I would suggest not.
     
  19. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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  20. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    A short skirt also helps
     
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