Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Dangers of Driving: Statistically Speaking

The devastating car accident at the intersection of Turk and Chabot Terrace on March 1st has effected the entire University of San Francisco community. From the site of the accident (middle of USF campus) to 75% of the people involved (faculty member’s wife and two students), every aspect of the accident seems to only hit the USF community harder. As a student driver at USF, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the two drivers involved were both students.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that 1.2 million (3242 every day) people are killed worldwide each year as a result of car accidents, and another 50 million are injured. Years and days may be easy to look past, but imagine this: every 13 minutes one person dies as the result of a car accident in the United States. To bring those statistics closer to home California also has the highest rate of traffic fatalities in the country as of 2004. Pedestrians, as in the case of the USF accident are also in danger and should be very aware of what is going on around them. Some 4,207 pedestrians were killed and 65,000 were injured by motor vehicles.

If you look further into auto accidents, WHO’s statistical reports explain the ‘estimated mortality rate’ people from the ages of 15-29 (Us!) ranks above most other age groups (Males in that age group ranked first; however, females have a much lower rank: fourth out of six). Car accidents are the leading cause of death for people ages 16-24.

Those are astonishing numbers, and it seems that people who drive everyday, get in their cars in some kind of ‘auto-mode’—forgetting all of the risks that come along with driving. Multi-tasking only makes the situation worse. From personal experience, I can admit that at any given time during my ‘ride’ I am: changing the music, talking on my cell phone, drinking my Starbucks, and or putting on make-up. With statistics of auto accidents in the millions, I imagine I am not alone.

The car accident at USF was a huge reality check for me. Driving is Dangerous! The point of this blog was not to bore or frighten you with big numbers and statistics; moreover, to try and shed some light on the enormous number of people injured/killed and the even larger number of people who are affected by car accidents.


Carly Perez said...

alarming statistics. definately a reality check. great post

eerickson said...

as a reckless driver, these statistics along with the terrible accident on Turk puts things into perspective for me

Michael Vick said...

I like your use of statistics. It's not boring at all. It really gives the gravity of the situation.

Christina Kho said...

one thing that will stick with me is the fact that every thirteen minutes someone dies in a car accident. one thing I'm wondering is why California has the highest rate of traffic fatalities. do more people own cars in Cali? are drivers in Cali not rigorously tested for driving as in other parts of the country?