Road safety, or lack of it

Since 2010 the number of pedestrians killed by cars in Europe and US has steadily
increased every year, in the States by 41% in the ten years between 2008 and 2018.
It is more dangerous, per kilometer of travel, to be a pedestrian than to be a driver or passenger in a vehicle. Worldwide, more than 700 pedestrians die every day, and 4 times that number are injured. But the worst country for these deaths in the US.

More Americans are driving than ever, living in cities or out in the urban sprawl, where high-volume, high speed roads exist, near where most people live. The trend is to push up the speed limits, and to design roads to accommodate speeding, the free flow of trafffic being regarded as a public good, despite the deaths speed brings. People feel “safe” in an SUV, and you can see these SUVs, disastrous if they hit a pedestrian, exceeding the speed limit.  Pedestrians are regarded as necessary nuisances, ignored by planners (I was astonished when I cam to the US at the lack of sidewalks in so many places.

We need to slow the traffic, recognise the fact that there are human beings called pedestrians, make drivers more aware of other vehicles, and have hefty fines for using cellphones while driving.

I think it is Epicurean to walk wherever possible and whenever you have the time,  IIt is good for your health, despite the fumes,  gives you thinking time, and is better for the environment.  But keep an eye open for those ubiquitous texters!

A quote from Epicurus:

“Live your life without attracting attention”

 

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