Too many people are maimed and killed in preventable accidents in New Zealand. We look at car, industrial, and home accidents.

Understanding accidents

Foreign media often express accident rates in easy to understand soundbites like

In the three seconds it will take you to read this sentence, somewhere in the United States somebody has been seriously hurt in an accident. In the five minutes that it will take you to read this page and part of the next, someone has been killed in an accident. More Americans have been killed in traffic accidents than in all that nation's wars.
The situation in New Zealand is just as grim on a percentage basis and only our smaller population saves us from the excesses of the US situation

The accident picture in this country is so grim that we tend to blot it out of our minds, to repress knowledge of it into our unconscious minds. We often react by saying that the topic of accidents is boring - until we ourselves are somehow caught in its blind toils. Then, often too late, we want to know what caused the accident and how it could have been prevented. Now wanting to talk about accidents is quite a common reaction.

We do not and should not want to live constantly with the threat of death by violence hanging over our heads. Reasonable safety mindedness is fine; rational steps to void accidents can then be taken. But over anxiety or constant fear about being involved in an accident is a symptom of mental disturbance and sometimes mental illness. "Safety first" is a good enough motto provided that it is not overworked into the belief that there is some magical formula for going through life without any risk of accident.

On the pages of this site we deal with the highlights of the broad subject of accident prevention and safety education. The emphasis will be on the prevention of motor-vehicle accidents, since they are the greatest single hazard to the continuing lives and sound limbs of young men and women. There are, of course, many points of view from which the subject of accident prevention can be considered; the "traffic cop" has one point of view, the safety engineer another, the accident statistician a third, and so on.

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