Why do we accept so many deaths caused by cars as a fact of life?
When mathematician John Nash and his wife were killed last week after their driver, who had just upgraded from ice cream truck to taxi two weeks earlier, lost control and hit a guardrail, It was a rare event, a car crash making national news. It pushed the Amtrak crash that killed eight off the front page, where everyone had been going on, rightly, about rail safety and rotten infrastructure.
But the Nash crash put the spotlight back on the carnage caused by cars, where 32,719 people died in 2013, or eighty-nine people per day. If it isn't a celebrity we just take it for granted that this happens, that the sacrifice is part of life. In New York, you aren't even safe inside a grocery store; in Oregon, you can run a red light and kill three kids, and it is just a tragic accident.
Cartoonist Ken Avidor nailed this back in 2001 in his Roadkill Bill series, now being colorized and republished in Streets.mn and reproduced here with permission.