Apathy plus speed is a deadly combination

Road crashes account for about 1400 fatalities each year in Australia.
Photo by Mark Trumble.

Road crashes account for about 1400 fatalities each year in Australia.
Photo by Mark Trumble.

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Friday, 6 March 2009

Community apathy is contributing to Australia's appalling road toll, according to one of the country's leading road safety experts.

Professor Mary Lydon from the University of Adelaide's Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) says the fact that people are not shocked to hear that 1400 motorists are killed each year is a tragedy in itself.

The Director of CASR will discuss Australia's road safety challenges at a Research Tuesday seminar at the University of Adelaide next Tuesday 10 March.

Professor Lydon says people are desensitised to the road toll, believing that "crashes happen to other people".

"More community concern is needed about our road statistics. The fact that 1400 people are killed each year in Australia and another 14,000 seriously injured should really shock people, but it doesn't.

"Worldwide, the annual road toll of 1.5 million people equates to 4000 deaths each day. That is a far worse statistic than wars, violence or murder," she says.

Professor Lydon says driver behaviour as well as road and vehicle factors all need to be taken into account to reduce the road toll.

"It's rarely one cause in isolation and the public needs to get around this false perception that road accidents only happen to young, drunk, reckless people. Most crashes happen to ordinary people doing ordinary things."

Speed is the most common denominator in road crashes, but other measures can be employed by authorities and motorists to improve the nation's road toll, Professor Lydon says.

The internationally renowned Centre for Automotive Safety Research conducts independent research on the causes of road accidents and provides solutions to improve road safety.

Professor Lydon has more than 30 years' experience in the field and was appointed CASR Director in 2008.

WHAT: Research Tuesday: 'The wrecks are talking. Why road crashes happen and what can be done about it'
WHERE: Room G04, Napier Building, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide.
WHEN: 5.30pm, Tuesday 10 March, 2009
COST: Free. Please book by email: research.tuesdays@adelaide.edu.au or phone (08) 8303 3692.


Contact Details

Professor Mary Lydon
Email: mary.lydon@adelaide.edu.au
Website: http://casr.adelaide.edu.au/
Centre for Automotive Safety Research
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 7362

Mr David Ellis
Email: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au
Website: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/newsroom/
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762