Each year, several organizations put out their estimates of how many people died in traffic accidents. It is easy in this respect to get lost in all of these numbers, especially when there is no context for them.
For instance, between 2000 and today, 624,000 people have died in motor vehicle accidents and 30 million others have been injured.
By way of comparison, the United States lost 535,000 citizens over World War I and World War II combined, although both of these conflicts are individually known as being especially bloody.
Likewise, between 2006 and 2012, around 100,000 people died in connection with the ongoing painkiller epidemic that has attracted the attention of all levels of our society. During those same years, 195,000, almost twice as many died for three reasons: drunk driving, distracted driving and speeding.
Indeed, it is these three poor driving habits that made up the majority of the 624,000 fatalities in the last 20 or so years. Of those 624,000, 213,000 of them died in an accident in which at least one driver was legally drunk. Likewise, 197,000 people died from speeding and about 78,000 people died due to distracted driving, including texting and driving.
When adding up the numbers, this means that 488,000, around 75%, of fatalities are due to one of these three habits.
When put in perspective, it is a little surprising that more people are not absolutely decrying how dangerous the roads in this country are. What is especially sad is that so many of these fatalities are preventable. All Texas drivers would need to do is stay sober, drive at an appropriate speed and be attentive.
A resident of the Longview area who loses a loved one to a fatal motor vehicle accident should consider whether or not they could file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for their losses.