July 14, 2010
The what I learned posts; Driving in Latin America
One of my earlier blog posts was on driving in Latin America, I don't have much to add, so here is the link.
In that post, dated March 25, I made the observation that despite the apparent anarchy (strike that, there is nothing apparent about it) I saw almost no accidents.
So I did a bit web research to see if my impressions were accurate. According to W.H.O. statistics (Abbot and Costello, please! Be quiet!), the number of deaths due to car collisions is a lot lower in Latin American countries than in the USA. I was a bit surprised to see that the USA was not the most dangerous country to drive in, even though it has the largest overall number of deaths by car, the USA drops to 15th of 49 nations when the measure is adjusted for population (the US had 17.5 car deaths per million population).
See for yourself, and oh, don't drive in Hungary. The deadliest South American nation listed is Paraguay at number 18 or 13.2 deaths per million. To my surprise, Canada is much safer than the USA, which I never would have guessed. Canada comes in at number 29 (7.4 per million), just ahead of Argentina and Panama. Mexico is way back at number 40 (0.7!!! per million), riding in that Tijuana taxi is safer than you think. Also contending for last place are Chile (41), Costa Rica (42), Ecuador and Uruguay (45 & 46).
P.S. Apropos of nothing in particular, if you check gun death mortality on that death site, you will find that you are nearly 5 times more likely to be killed in a car crash in the US, than to be shot by a hand gun. If you visit the Dominican Republic, stay in your bullet proof car, number last in car deaths is numero uno when it comes to muerte por la pistola.