Save Human and Animal Lives
Thousands of people and animals are killed every year due, in part, to people driving too fast, which
increases the likelihood of fatalities. In addition to deaths, an even larger number of people and animals
are seriously injured every year. A simple way to significantly reduce deaths and severe pain and
suffering is to: Drive More Slowly
"A person who dies from an air pollution related
dies about a decade earlier than he or she otherwise would."
Steven Barrett, MIT Professor
- Since 108 people are killed in the U.S. every day, that amounts to 38,300 deaths in 2015, which
is more than (come up with a good analogy: by guns, by???)
- High speeds increase your likelihood of a crash and slash your chance of surviving because the
crash energy increases exponentially as speeds go higher. The faster you go the longer it takes
to slow down and the force of a 60 MPH crash is not twice as much as 30 MPH, it’s 4 times
- Improve air quality and people’s health: CO2 emissions cause asthma, cancer, heart attacks ( 1
of 2 people die when they have a heart attack) and heart disease. A 2013 Massachusetts
Institute of Technology study found the greatest number of emission related deaths came from
road transportation, with 53,000 each year attributed to exhaust from car and truck tailpipes.
- According to Merritt Clifton, the editor of Animal People Newsletter, these are the numbers of animals killed annually by motor vehicles in the U.S.
- 41 million squirrels
- 26 million cats
- 22 million rats
- 19 million opossums
- 15 million raccoons
- 6 million dogs and
- 350,000 deer
- In addition to those who are killed, many more animals are injured and suffer grievously.
"I like driving fast"
Austin D. has a convertible and drives top-down as often as possible. A collection of hats and caps is tucked in his trunk. "I like the air blowing and the radio playing and the whole speeding-along thing," he says, "trying to kind of beat out everyone else." He pays attention to his radar detector to avoid tickets and dials in traffic reports so he won't be slowed down. "It's like a game, to wheel as fast and smooth as I can," he declares. He's been known to boast of making what's usually a five-hour trip in "three hours, 44 minutes – midnight to 3:44 a.m., no stops, no cops, averaging 80[mph]." He's had one near-miss with another car and has several times struck night-prowling animals "but not very often – not enough to worry about it."
Our ideas: Consider the odds – the more time a person has spent behind the wheel over a lifetime, the greater the statistical likelihood of an accident; at high speeds, the damages will be much worse. A convertible driver enjoying top-down travel, has lungs on the line even more than the people around him; driving slower burns less fuel, less pollution, better air.
What happened: Austin's a numbers guy, so he did some calculations about time on the road and accidents at speed; his likelihood of a favorable outcome was diminishing. He also looked at air quality statistics for the states in which he drives most often and found unhealthy levels of pollution at least a third of the time.
"I'm not dialing it all the way down," he says, "but I can't ignore the damn numbers."