Photo: Sarah GoodyearYou may have heard the statistic: last year, 33,963 Americans died in motor vehicle crashes.
It’s a huge number. And that’s the problem. It’s so huge that it’s difficult to comprehend.
In a blog post yesterday, Biking in LA tried to bring that number down to a more understandable scale by putting it into the context of the Chilean miner story that has transfixed the world:
In the 10 weeks since the 33 miners were trapped … over 6,500 people died on American streets, based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In the same period, roughly 850 pedestrians and 140 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle collisions. …
And no one even noticed.
No massive press response. No live coverage. …
Those same statistics tell us that of the millions of people who will leave their homes today, 93 won’t return. …
It’s just collateral damage. The price we’ve come to accept for the privilege of getting from here to there. 93 people every day. 651 every week. 2,830 every month.
This is one of the reasons it’s so important to reform our transportation system so that fewer people have to rely on cars to go about their daily business: those 93 people who don’t come home every day. Think of it as a rescue mission.