Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Death, Cars and not a thing to do with real estate

An article on US traffic deaths came buzzing by me (at moderate speed) from two different directions yesterday and today that had my head spinning so fast I could barely scratch it.

Here's the basic item, via the Globe and Mail: 

In summary, traffic fatalities in the US are falling.  Increased speeds, volume and distractions (phones, etc) are being more than compensated by improved technology, enforcement and education.  Seat belts, airbags, anti-lock brakes, crumple zones, and engines that fall out in a crash instead of landing in your lap seem to be helping.  Then there's radar, breathalyzers, and the surrounding information and awareness campaigns.  Kids are still generally as stupid as we were on a lot of things.  But a whole lot more of them are smart enough not to drive hammered.

All interesting and straight-forward.  But here are the bits that snuck in and got my "Wow" attention.

. There were still about 33,000 people killed in the US in 2010 in traffic accidents.  The multiplier to account for injuries is probably significant.  That's a lot of death.

. The Globe notes that there are now over five times as many vehicles on the road as in 1949.  Those vehicles are travelling 13 times as many miles, and they are doing it at higher speeds with much greater congestion.  The population of the US has doubled.  Just under 33,000 deaths in 2010 ... how many in 1949? (Think for a second, before you peek)

Answer: Over 30,000 !  That is an astounding improvement in survival, albeit still a lot of people dying.

. And the final gobsmacker. What cause of death has now passed traffic accidents in the US:
Answer:  Suicide.  That is as depressing as the traffic numbers are encouraging.

As I noted, nada to do with real estate.  I just needed to say it.  Drive carefully.  Get help if you need it.

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