Lies, damned lies and statistics

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Holiday Safety. Feel free to spread this warning throughout your friend data base. Please, take care of yourself out on the roads this holiday season. A recent joint study conducted by the Department of Health and the Department of Motor Vehicles indicates that 23 percent of traffic accidents are alcohol related.

This means that the remaining 77 percent are caused by people who drink bottled water, sip at Starbucks, or drink soda, juice, energy drinks, and stuff like that. Therefore, beware of those who don’t drink alcohol. They cause three times as many accidents. This message was sent to me by someone who worried about my safety.

Whilst that was sent to me for the purposes of mild amusement, it does show just how numbers can be manipulated. Is the glass half full or is it half empty?

It also draws attention to the world’s worst road toll yet again, a statistic Thailand should be ashamed of. As in previous years, alcohol is indicted in around 50 percent of the fatalities and motorcycles in 80 percent. It doesn’t need rocket science to see where the main thrust of effort is needed, but governments have managed to miss this fact year after year.