Economic Downturn Responsible for Fewer Child Injuries on Roads
From PR Urgent 18/08/09:
[A] leading firm of personal injury compensation claims solicitors, say that recent research shows the number of children and young people injured in road traffic accidents in the morning rush hour has reduced considerably. Between January and June 2008 there were 344 road accidents involving children, but for the same period in 2009 this number dropped to 228. Some commentators suggest the recession may be linked to the reduction in this type of accident, occurring at the time of the morning "school run".
"Fuel prices and the other overhead costs involved in running a car have become a great burden on many families during the current economic downturn. Many parents are now walking their children to school rather than travelling in the family car. Fewer car journeys have resulted in a reduction in accidents, and which is a good thing."
The statistics from the Department of Transport also reveal that the number of children who are either killed or suffer serious personal injury in this type of accident has decreased by 9% in 2009 when comparing the figures for the same period in 2008.
"Traffic is at its busiest first thing in the morning and this may well be the most dangerous time for anyone to be driving, particularly for those taking children to school, as they are often distracted by the demands of the children or are having to rush because they are running late."
Every road user laments the infamous ‘school run’ twice a day which brings otherwise manageable roads to total gridlock. While I hadn’t initially considered the connection between the economic downturn and the number of injuries suffered on the nation’s roads, on reflection, I suppose it is logical. It also presumably means that when the economic slump is over, the numbers may well rise again.
On a related note, I also remember reading a couple of years ago now that personal injuries on Britain’s roads increased sharply when British Summer Time ends and the clocks are put back. Whether it is the fact drivers used to driving home in the light suddenly had to cope with darkness or whether drivers generally have more accidents in the dark per se, I don’t know. I do, however, remember reading that such was the increase in injuries around this time, it was cited as a possible justification for abandoning the rather strange practice of setting clocks back and forwards twice a year across the world.