September 22, 2015

Do you think being a pedestrian or driving in this country is bad enough? That was the challenging question posed this week by Forest of Dean based vehicle leasing company Available.

Only you, of course, Dear Reader can know whether you did or you didn’t think being a pedestrian or driving in this country was bad enough, but if you did, Available insist in a recently released press release, you should see what it’s like in other countries.

But, if seeing what it’s like in other countries is something you’re considering, then you might want to think twice, because “only nine countries in the world have roads as safe as ours right here in the UK.

“Some very popular holiday locations have very dangerous roads,” a spokesperson for Available reveals. “Thailand, for instance, has the fourth most dangerous roads in the world. And, surprisingly (to me at least),” the spokesperson reveals, “Australia and Spain were singled out for special mention in a Foreign Office driving-abroad campaign.”

Recognising that “a little research, even just 15 minutes of googling,” could make a big difference, Available have created an online “app” which, as well as painting the world red (red for danger, probably, rather than, sadly, empire), gives you all the stats you need to see exactly why you don’t want to drive in other countries.

This “app” reveals amongst other things that well over half a million people die on the roads each year in just two countries: China and India, that although only 300 people die a year on New Zealand’s roads, you’re still twice as likely to get killed there as here, and that no data is available on total fatalities in Libya or Algeria – although you can bet there’s plenty. And that Venezuela is the pits.

And it’s not just Available, it turns out, who are concerned about foreigners and their roads. The UK Foreign Office is so alarmed it has started a campaign aimed at discouraging people from driving in other countries.

As part of this campaign, the FO people built a “tool” that tells people exactly how awful the roads are going to be in other countries. In Spain, for example, people are habitually lazy, drive with their windows down, and will try to sell you strangely shaped donuts and toy donkeys wearing sombreros at inappropriate moments. In Uzbekistan many of the roads are not properly made up and you’ll probably get arrested for having a packet of aspirin in your glove box. In Nigeria, meanwhile, they have a lot of traffic jams in cities like Lagos and proper respect is not always shown.

So basically, you’re better off in Blighty.


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