Black dots – Road safety figures are wrong –

Road safety figures are wrong

Black dots - Road safety figures are wrong -

A Senate report denounces the shortcomings of road safety statistics which are incomplete, unreliable and biased. The severity of accidents is overestimated while the most dangerous black spots are not identified.

"As astonishing as it may seem, the statistical data on road safety are at the same time incomplete, unreliable and biased", explains the socialist senator of Lot Gerard Miquel in a report on road safety research. Published at the end of 2002 and passed relatively unnoticed, this text denounces the serious shortcomings of research in road safety and points out in particular the distorted use of "Bodily accident analysis bulletins" (BAAC).

Since the 1960s, accident statistics have in fact been based essentially on these BAACs established by the police from the accident procedure in progress. However, explains Gerard Miquel, the BAAC is "a document produced for justice, the primary objective of which is to specify responsibilities and not to understand the mechanism of the accident". Thus, continues the senator, the data from the BAAC include "significant margins of error: the number of fatalities is underestimated, the number of bodily accidents is significantly false, half of the seriously injured in a statistical sense do not are not in the medical sense and the location of accidents in interurban areas is largely false ". "About half of light bodily accidents are not the subject of procedures by the police," said the senator. As they do not give rise to a BAAC, they are therefore not included in the statistics and the average severity of bodily accidents is mathematically overestimated. As for the location of accidents, it is particularly fanciful in interurban areas: in 50% of cases it is false by more than 100 meters, and in 39% of cases by more than one kilometer! The black spots of interurban infrastructures therefore still have a bright future ahead of them….

The report also considers that "research on motorcyclists suffers from a dramatic delay". "While the public authorities agree that the motorcycle is by far the most dangerous mode of travel (see table above), research on motorcycle accidents is far from being as developed as the research on passenger vehicles ", deplores Gerard Miquel…


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