Bermuda really is another world: the stats
As the Bermudian saying goes, “It’s not a case of if, it’s a case of when” you are involved in a traffic incident.
There is no question that the death and injury on Bermuda’s roads have reached epidemic proportions.
We have one of the highest crash rates in the developed countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Bermuda has a national health crisis on its hands, and it will take a community effort to truly effect the change we need.
In 2017, we lost 15 lives and over the past ten years that number is 118, most of which were taken in brutally violent circumstances. For every one of those deaths, there were close to 200 injuries, including amputations and serious brain injuries.
What will the next ten years bring us?
Between 2009 and 2015, there were 12,808 crashes on Bermuda’s roads — one in five people on this island incurred injuries severe enough to have them admitted to the emergency room at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
We are losing more lives and enduring more crippling injuries on our roads statistically than all but four of 42 OECD and affiliated countries in the Health in Review (2nd Edition) report released at the end of last year by the Department of Health. On average, we lose more than 15 lives per 100,000 and the vast majority of them are black, Bermudian males. Because of road crashes, and to a lesser extent homicides, Bermuda is at five times the OECD average for deaths by external causes — five times the average!
Males are seven times more likely to die in a road crash than females, while black males have a 60 per cent higher risk of dying than other males.
Male mortality in Bermuda is at 30 per 100,000 and was topped in the Health In Review report only by Brazil (40) and Russia (32), with Colombia equal.
Our roads crisis is severely affecting our young people — 16-year-old riders are most at risk of being in a road crash, while 21 to 25-year-olds have the highest risk of becoming a road-fatality statistic.
It is also affecting our economy, as some $43 million was spent between 2009 and 2015 on local inpatient hospital costs alone. Then there is specialised overseas hospital care, outpatient care, rehabilitation costs and socioeconomic costs, which are estimated also to be in the tens of millions.
All of these road crashes are driving up our vehicle and health insurance premiums, and costing us in the pocket.
Bermuda suffers senseless rates of impaired driving, with alcohol and drugs factoring into 75 per cent of all road fatalities.
A lethal combination of drink driving, speeding and poor driving practices push the road fatality rate to two times above the average in the OECD.
When Ireland adopted non-selective sobriety checkpoints the number of crashes fell by 19 per cent and its present rate of road fatalities is below the OECD average at 6.7 per 100,000.
Drive for Change invites you to help to reverse these shocking figures by joining the movement to push for legislative change. We want to see roadside sobriety testing, speed cameras and a graduated licensing programme in place as a matter of urgency.
We will highlight every step of action that is taken by the Bermuda Government while sharing vital information to help you to make an informed decision in lobbying your politicians.
We are all part of the change and that includes improving the way we all use the roads for the betterment of our society.