When you hear the words:" "died", "crash", killed", "accident", if I'm guessing right the word "car" automatically comes to mind. In the U.S., around 40,000 people died per year in car crashes. Let me state that again: 40,000 fatalities. That's about 200 planes (200-passenger) per year. Will you be ok if you hear on the news that every other day a Boeing 757 crashed? Well, that's how the highway industry currently operates in the U.S. So, why are we ok with this? This (the statistics and life events) is part of why I'm getting a PhD in transportation. There are many actions to be done aiming at reducing deaths from crashes: engineering, planning, political will, infrastructure and policy changes, education, enforcement, technology, travel behavior, etc. I can expand on this later but there are some things that we, as humans, can do now. So here is my invitation to put in your 2016 resolutions:
1. Drive less and do more walking, biking, and take transit. It helps your health, your pocket, and your planet.
2. Say "crashes", don't say "accidents"
3. Stop driving like assholes and slow down. It can save a kid on the street.
4. Never Drink & Drive or let anybody do.
5. Don't Text & Drive or let anybody do. You can take a pledge #itcanwait (I just did!)
6. Smile to pedestrians, bikers, and buses. Everyone is a pedestrian (even if you drive)
7. Instead of giving your son or daughter a car and a driver license, give them a new pair of shoes, a new bike, a transit pass, and a Lyft/Uber account.
As a parent, I believe in allowing my kids to explore, to be adventorous, to learn, to discover. When they go out, my biggest fear is cars (contrary to most parents, which is abduction). So, please accept my invitation and give-up your car as much as you can to be healthier, save money and the planet.
The less cars we have on the streets, the better odds for all of us not to die. I dream to live in a city where I don't need to own a car!