If U.S. roads were a war zone, they would be the most dangerous battlefield the American military has ever encountered. Seriously: Annual U.S. highway fatalities outnumber the yearly war dead during each Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, the War of 1812, and the American Revolution. When all of the injuries from car wrecks are also taken into account, one year of American driving is more dangerous than all those wars put together.

From The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life in The Atlantic.

5 thoughts on “Dangerous Driving

  1. This brought to mind this episode of the invaluable podcast 99 Percent Invisible, The Modern Moloch. The episode details the huge public outcry at the amount of deaths caused by the automobile when it was introduced into public life, those deaths caused because people naturally weren’t accustomed to having to look out for an enormous metal machine when they stepped out into the street.

    http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/episode-76-the-modern-moloch/

  2. I understand the point, but it’s a bit misleading.

    When he says, “American driving is more dangerous than all those wars put together” — and “Annual U.S. highway fatalities outnumber the yearly war dead” — he’s excluding deaths on the other “side”, which tend to make up the lion’s share.

    1. Quite true – but I guess he’s trying to being the huge scale of road deaths into proportion. It is also an simpler comparison to make as you’d have to include the road deaths in all the other countries.

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