Suicide rate declines

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The number of suicides in Norway has declined markedly in the past two decades, but around 500 Norwegians still take their own lives every year. Around a third of all fatal head-on collisions involving trucks and private cars are also suspected of being suicides in disguise.

A national group that studies violence and suicide, RVTS, reported late last week that around 200 fewer Norwegians are committing suicide now than in the record year of 1988. Even though the statistics are believed to be conservative, with the actual suicide rate being higher, researchers report a clear decline.

A national transport group, though, reported that at least 30 percent of all fatal vehicular collisions between cars and trucks are suicides committed by the driver of the car.

Statistics compiled between 2005 and 2008 showed an alarming number of crashes in which a car suddenly swings into the oncoming lane with a truck approaching. The drivers of the trucks call it their worst nightmare, and they often are left severely traumatized.

Truck drivers’ trade association Norges Lastebileierforbund (NLF) now offers support services for its drivers who have been involved in head-on collisions believed to have been caused by motorists committing suicide.

Views and News staff