New York Times: U.S. Traffic Deaths Rise for a Second Straight Year

Neal E. Boudette writes for the New York Times:

Over the last decade, new cars have gotten electronic stability control systems to prevent skids, rearview cameras to prevent fender benders and more airbags to protect occupants in collisions. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on campaigns to remind the public of the dangers of drunken driving, failing to buckle up and texting while on the go.

Despite all that, more Americans are dying on roads and highways than in years, and the sudden and sharp increase has alarmed safety advocates.

Maybe it is because we allow people to careen around in multi-ton weaponized hunks of metal at unsafe speeds (> 20 mph).

If the estimates are confirmed, it will be the first time since 2007 that more than 40,000 people have died in motor vehicle accidents in a single year. The 2016 total comes after a 7 percent rise in 2015 and means the two-year increase — 14 percent — is the largest in more than a half a century.

To refresh everyone’s memory 40,000 deaths is higher than the 33,000 annual gun deaths in America as measured by the CDC. Neither is a good number but people driving vehciles don’t get nearly as much negative press as people killing others with guns.

While the article trots out the usual line about the rise of distracted driving I’d be curious to know how many are attributed to the sun was in my eyes.”