It is interesting how we focus on the world, and how our focus can be manipulated. 2996 people died in the 9/11 attacks by Al Qaeda. In the years since that attack 369,629 people have died on America’s roads between 2001 and 2009; that is 100 times more deaths. Yet we have not spend trillions of dollars fixing that problem. Indeed we pay no real attention to preventing road deaths via education, media coverage, road redesign, though I have to say auto manufacturers have spend a lot of money improving vehicle safety with improved air bags, seat restraints, child restraints, driver attention monitoring, but they have also added wi fi features that may be distractions. The only problem with the latter efforts to improve vehicle safety is that there is evidence that people drive more recklessly when they feel their vehicle is safer, even when in the case of SUVs it is an illusion because of increased roll over fatalities. Someone even suggested we would drive more safely if our steering wheels had a big spike on them…..pointing at us….
The UK Guardian newspaper this morning publishes a map of US road fatalities by location that is stark reading. It allows you to vector into the detail of these fatalities. Thank you Simon Rogers for caring about us in an informed way.
US road accident casualties: every one mapped across America
369,629 people died on America’s roads between 2001 and 2009. Following its analysis of UK casualties last week, transport data mapping experts ITO World have taken the official data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – and produced this powerful map using OpenStreetMap. You can zoom around the map using the controls on the left or search for your town using the box on the right – and the key is on the top left. Each dot represents a life lost.
I would like to see major US media coverage of this map, but it is interesting that it takes a British newspaper to uncover this important information and publish it. What does that say about US media focus? Here is a section of the map without the interactivity which is what makes it so stark: you can vector down onto an individual death. Heart breaking.