Traffic Fatalities

car skull The research doesn’t get any clearer. But the topic is the lifeblood product of corporate capitalism, so the research gets curtly and utterly ignored.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands die. Per today’s New York Times:

[H]ighway fatalities last year recorded the largest annual percentage increase in 50 years. And the numbers so far this year are even worse. In the first six months of 2016, highway deaths jumped 10.4 percent, to 17,775, from the comparable period of 2015.

This is America. These are our priorities, our values.

It will be somewhat interesting to see who Drumpf picks as Transportation Secretary. Evel Knievel is dead, so it’ll have to be somebody else. Not, of course, that it matters, since no topic is more thoroughly “bi-partisan,” a.k.a. shielded from any kind of democratic, humane scrutiny.

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The Unmentionable Ossuary

Despite their centrality to actual lives, the costs and dangers of cars-first transportation remain entirely “off the table” in our corporate capitalist, market-totalitarian society.

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ossuary My great friend Douglas Pressman, who once escorted me into an ossuary located in the Czech Republic, conveyed this news item from the mighty USA Today:

Road accidents — not terrorism, plane crashes or crime — are the No. 1 killer of healthy Americans traveling abroad, a USA TODAY analysis of the past 7½ years of State Department data shows.

About 1,820 Americans, almost a third of all Americans who died of non-natural causes while abroad, have been reported killed in road accidents in foreign countries from Jan. 1, 2003, through June 2010. On average, one American traveler dies on a foreign road every 36 hours.

This, of course, is peanuts compared to the number of people killed here and around the world by cars when not on vacations or buying or spying junkets.

But it highlights the fact that our overclass simply suppresses rational public discussion of automotive death and dismemberment.

There were 2,996 people killed by the 911 terrorist attack. That is one-eleventh the number of people killed in U.S. car crashes in 2009, a year hailed by NHTSA officials and even Ralph Nader as a wondrously safe annum automobilis.

Despite their centrality to our transportation order and to ordinary people’s actual lives, the costs and dangers of cars-first transportation remain entirely “off the table” in our corporate capitalist, market-totalitarian society. Some deaths sell, and some don’t.

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Craptastic, and Deadly, Too

Death and doohickeys — great for business at Ford.

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This from Ford (via Automotive News):

DETROIT — Ford’s growing reputation as a technology-driven brand is helping the automaker wring more money out of every car it sells, the automaker’s vice president of product development, Derrick Kuzak, said today.

During a speech to an auto electronics show here, Kuzak said Ford’s average revenue per vehicle jumped 14 percent from 2008 to 2009, to $26,100. He attributed roughly one-third of the increase to new technologies such as the Sync in-car communication system.

Kuzak said one-third of people who bought a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury said the Sync system helped sway their decision.

In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in car crashes caused by distracted driving.

Death and doohickeys — great for business at Ford.

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