Cars (again) - Charlie's Diary

A pointed set of observations about the actual dangers involved in humans driving themselves around on roads in cars. Long, but gets going about a third of the way in:

The death toll is not small. The UK, despite having an excellent road safety record, sees more people killed on the roads every year than died during the entire duration of the Troubles in Northern Ireland; “According to the World Health Organization motor vehicle collisions are the 6th most common cause of death in developed nations, with an average rate of 20.8 per 100,000 populations in the year 2000 (30.8 for males, 11.0 for females). African nations have the world's highest road traffic injury mortality rates.” (Wikipedia on traffic-related death rates.) 1.2 million were killed and 50 million injured in road traffic accidents in 2004.

Want a yardstick to put that last figure in perspective?

During the first world war, there were 9.7 million military deaths, 6.8 million civilian deaths, and 21.2 million surviving casualties, over a 4.5 year period. That's an average of 2.15 million dead per year … but today we have better medical care, and a much higher probability of surviving a bullet or a car crash. If you compare the total casualty rates, then we have one and a half times as many people injured in road traffic accidents every year than were wounded or killed during the entire first world war.

via Cars (again) - Charlie’s Diary .