Al Gullon, a Canadian researcher with many years of international experience, identifies a compelling and predictable world-wide relationship between economic well-being and accident rates, and I hope to include much of his analysis, or links to it, here by late March 2013.
It has long been clear – see my own graphs on this web site for confirmation – that accident rates slow in difficult economic times, and increase on good times. Al Gullon has pointed out however that this effect is far greater than could be accounted for my changes in traffic volume alone. The explanation lies in the reality that a very high proportion of accidents happen because of momentary loss of concentration – AMPS, the Absent Minded Professor Syndrome. During boom years, here and in other developed countries, gung-ho attitudes and less concern about risk lead to more accidents and in bad times the opposite,
This can be seen working in synchronism across international boundaries and, importantly, provides a way of demonstrating that improvements in trends in a particular country should not be linked to domestic road safety policies when the same trends appear elsewhere with quite different policies.
Al’s own web site http://www.alsaces.ca/ contains a great deal of his work with full contact details