Planning a visit to New Zealand and unaware of the high number of serious accidents on its poor roads? though, to be fair its not just the roads that are dangerous, the high number of DUI drivers may be partly to blame.
New Zealand has the second highest country in the world for deaths resulting from car occupant collision with car, pick-up truck or van (per capita) with 35.6877 deaths per million people. Way ahead of the USA which is ranked 15, Australia 17 and UK 37. The estimated social cost to New Zealand is $4,000 million dollars.
It’s been a while since we’ve blogged about the daily tragedies on New Zealand’s dangerous roads and we’re aware of the high number of RTA fatalities involving overseas tourists there. These include more recently Connor Hayes and Joanna Lam, and the Boston University students Daniela Rosanna Lekhno, Roch Jauberty and Austin Brashears, who died when their car lost traction on gravel at the side of the road, and the many others whose names are never released. (Another blog Apartheid Fort New Zealand diligently keeps tally on their “Proudly killed in New Zealand” page if you want to find out more).
Overseas News Report
Whilst headlines such as this one are commonplace in the NZ press,you may not come across them so easily when planning your motoring holiday around New Zealand.
Safety Warning after Tourist Deaths
“Tourists are being reminded to take care on New Zealand’s windy, hilly roads after the death of seven young people in the central North Island in recent months.
Four Argentine men, all in their 20s, were killed on Wednesday night near National Park when their car smashed head-on into a logging truck…” source
Drunk, drugged – and they still drive
“Drunk and stoned drivers are killing and injuring people on Waikato roads at a higher rate than the densely populated regions of Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago…” source
The news site Stuff.co.nz has produced an interactive map of New Zealand’s accident black spots, if you’re planning a trip or thinking about emigrating you’d may like to take a look at it. Below the map is the last three years of data from which you’ll see that seldom a day goes by where there are no people involved in serious crashes (To view the map click on the image of it above).
But that’s not the whole story. Official Statistics for serious road injuries may be unreliable. A report by the internationally renowned University of Otago compared police crash reports to hospital discharge data and concluded that injuries were often wrongly classified by police. They estimated that approximately 15% of injuries incorrectly classified as minor were actually life threatening.
In one NZTA report the number of serious injuries reported by police was compared to the number of people admitted to hospital with serious injuries. For the whole of the country only 34% of serious accidents were reported by police in 2008, the lowest areas for reporting were Northland 31%, Auckland 16%, Bay of Plenty 27%, Gisborne 26% and Manawatu-Wanganui 34%. The highest reporting was in Wellington at 64%. Therefore we suggest that any official data for serious injuries be treated with caution.
Britain’s foreign office has issued a travel advisory about NZ’s RTAs
New Zealand Herald’s Road Accidents Archive
NZ’s roads described as ‘killing fields’ after 14 fatalities over ANZAC weekend