October 30, 2009

Regular readers will know that Bankstone News is an avid connoisseur of statistics. Fascinating, then, to learn that “men are three times more likely than women to be killed or seriously injured on the hard shoulder.”

That’s according to automotive accessory specialist Comma, who quote DfT stats indicating that 2,058 males were killed or seriously injured on the motorway hard shoulder between 1994 and 2008 (i.e. about 140 a year) compared with just 768 women (about 50).

Accepting that men travel 20% more than women, Comma reckon the residual disparity is attributable to “men being more likely to attempt investigating the problem, rather than moving a safe distance from the car and awaiting professional rescue as road safety agencies advise.”

Hang on, they’ve got a psychologist, or something: “Men tend to be ego-driven, preferring to be seen as the rescuer,” scoffs Philip Hodson, Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. “They tend to believe that they can fix the problem, even if, in reality, they couldn’t even begin to comprehend the car’s technology.” Poor fools!

Clearly there’s an uncomfortable disparity between being seen as a rescuer and being seen (if only fleetingly) as an oversized dimly lit rag doll summarily swept away by the hurtling bulk of an HGV.

With the daylight hours receding, and the clocks going back, now is a peak time of year for such incidents – because as Comma put it, “when you are outside of your car in the dark you are effectively invisible.”

If only just making a single attractively-priced purchase from a supplier of automotive accessories could somehow abate this needless roadside harvest of souls.

Wait, it can!

Yes, spend just [insert price] on a 5-litre pack of Comma Performance Motor Oil and you’ll get a special high-vis vest to wear whenever your wife insists you pull over, get out, and find out what’s the matter. Research shows you’ll be four times less likely to die.

Don’t worry, she’ll find some other way of getting rid of you.

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