Do you know how many people died today in traffic collisions?

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How important is traffic safety to you?

How many people were killed in the time it took you to watch your favorite TV show? Do you know how many people were killed in the time it took you to drive to work, pick up your kids and go to soccer practice?

How important is this subject to you?

Now, try asking how important this subject is to the person who lost their husband, wife, son, daughter, grandmother, grandpa or child in a traffic collision. Try asking someone who has permanent back pain after being involved in a collision.

How important is this subject to them? It’s more important than you know.

32,719 people were killed in traffic collisions in the United States in 2013. That’s an average of 89 people a day. Every day.

That’s almost an average of 4 people an hour.

Ask any officer or firefighter who has been to a fatal collision. They’ll tell you how it didn’t have to happen. They’ll also tell you how many times they’ve seen carelessness take a life away.

The most painful sound to hear is a family screaming and crying after being told that their loved one was killed in a car accident. It’s the type of sound that stays with you. It’s the type of sound that hurts to listen to it.

You can feel if vibrating through your bones as each cry seems to pass through you like a cold wind on a winter day. It bites and cuts through you. It makes you shiver.

The sound eventually leaves, but it lingers like fingers grabbing at your heart to tug at it. You try to ignore it, but you can’t.

If every person heard that sound, it would scare them into being a safer driver. If every person could walk with me as I stepped over body parts at a collision scene, they would understand what it means to be a safer driver.

If every person knew what it was like to look at the bottom of their boots to make sure there was no flesh or brains in the groves, they would be a safer driver.

If every driver knew what a burning car with people inside smelled like, they would want to be a safer driver.

And finally, if every person could see what a child looks like after their head was run over by a car, they too would want to be a safer driver.

It’s these sights, smells and sounds that have made me be a safer driver. Now, let’s talk about that question I asked in the beginning.

How important is this subject to you?

Pass this along to someone and let’s try and get people to be safer drivers.

4 thoughts on “Do you know how many people died today in traffic collisions?

  1. Our daughter survived what could have been a fatal crash when she was struck from behind by a drunk and stoned driver. I have seen it from both sides, the crash investigator and the family of a crash victim. Vehicles are a very deadly device when operated by drivers impaired by intoxicants, distraction or stupidity.

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  2. I had to hear that sound as the coroner knocked at my door on 2.19.14 at 4 AM to tell me my cycling partner and brother Matt was hit from behind and killed by a DUI as he rode in the bike lane in Huntington Beach who did not stop until he had to pull matts bike out from under his vehicle. Worse part was hearing the sobs from my wife as I had to expain to her what happened.

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    • That is terrible. I’m sorry for our loss. I’ve be at scenes where the family arrives and it’s always hard to see and hear. Mostly because it can happen to anyone of us at any time. That’s the hard part for sure.

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