dead victims are easier to blame 1

Some amazing numbers about the response to deaths/injuries on London's roads buried in a Robert Davis post caught my eye:

Prosecutions: 7/216 deaths; 227/811 ???Serious/Life Changing??? (???Serious / Life Changing??? is an unofficial category Something like x5 more people are reported as being ???Seriously injured???.)
Summonses: 13/216 deaths; 299/811 ???Serious / Life Changing?????

The chances of the law being enforced in this period:
1. There are prosecutions with 1/30 fatalities.
2. There are summonses with 1/17 fatalities
3. There are prosecutions with 1/18 SIs
4. There are summonses with 1/12 SIs

Leaving aside for a moment the astonishingly low rate at which people are held to account (for, though RD's language, "chances of the law being enforced", might be going slightly beyond what the numbers justify, it would be absurd to suggest that 95% of deaths on our streets are either the deceased party's own fault or nobody's fault at all — though no doubt some trolls would suggest it anyway) even for the injuries caused on the roads, why the far lower response rate to deaths than to injuries? Could it be that silent witnesses can't explain that they did not, in fact, "come out of nowhere"?

(For quick rough comparison, these are the mode proportions for fatalities and injuries in London in 2010…

Mode of travel Fatal Serious Slight
Pedestrians 46.0 31.0 17.2
Powered two wheelers 22.2 21.3 14.3
Pedal cyclists 7.9 16.6 13.6
Bus or coach occupants 0.0 3.6 5.0
Other vehicle occupants 2.4 2.5 4.3
Car occupants 21.4 25.2 45.6


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One thought on “dead victims are easier to blame

  • dr2chase

    Friend of mine from college crashed a military jet, didn’t die. He said that’s a problem for them, because surviving pilots have a habit of pointing out the actual cause of the crash.So, not unique to victims of car crashes.