A recent report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) documenting an unprecedented increase in traffic deaths among people walking was alarming enough. But to see widespread news coverage demeaning the seriousness of this issue by dumbing down the problem to one of too many pedestrians using cell phones was downright unsettling.
Looking at trends in the short term doesn’t always paint a complete picture. Nevertheless, we can’t help but be discouraged by the direction of traffic safety in the U.S. described in two recent reports — one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and another from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). Both reports analyze recent data to answer a similar big picture question: When it comes to traffic safety, how are we doing? Unfortunately, the answer is “not good enough.”