Deaths in NHS hospitals due to viruses contracted in those hospitals are at least as preventable as car deaths and are rising steeply as a cause of death. Based on the analysis below, just being in hospital is many times more dangerous than driving.
Preventable Deaths On The Road
A - Average UK car mileage (2005) 15,872km/annum
B - Vehicles On Uk Roads 25,000,000
C - Vehicle Kilometres Per Annum (A*B) 396,800,000,000km/annum
D - Road Fatalities (2005) 3,201
E - Vehicle Kilometres Per Fatality (C/D) 123,961,262km
F - Average speed on UK roads 50km/hour
G - Hours Driving Per Road Death (E/F) 2,479,225
Source for A. Source for D. B and F are ball park estimates.
Preventable Deaths In Hospital
A - Clostridium difficile on Death Certificates 3,807
B - MRSA On Death Certificate 2,080
C - Low Estimate Of Preventable Deaths In Hospital (A+B) 5,887
D - On NHS Wards (90% of C) 5,298
E - NHS Beds In Use (180,000 at 90% capacity) (2005) 162,000
F - Hours Spent In NHS Beds Per Annum (E*24*365) 1,419,120,000
G - Hours In Hospital Beds Per Death (F/D) 241,060
Source for A, B and D. Source for E.
At least 10 times as many preventable deaths are occurring in hospitals compared to the nation's roads. Resources should be reallocated with this in mind. For example, in 2006/07, Transport For London's budget for road safety is £42m, up from £18m in 2000. I don't believe this is an efficient allocation of public funds.