“Let’s Be Careful Out There”

How about this for good news?

As someone who survived a serious auto accident, I’m probably focused on traffic safety more than the average Joe. And it’s also the reason I take such delight in stories like the one in today’s New York Times. A 100-year low! So many deaths and injuries avoided; so much pain and suffering averted.

It’s also one of the reasons I get frustrated by the lack of traffic safety in places like Carmel, Indiana, where I live. Carmel isn’t a particularly safe place for pedestrians. An unusually high percentage of drivers here don’t seem to see pedestrians. Or if they do see us, then they don’t seem to care much about our safety. Suffice it to say you have to be a very defensive walker in Carmel. But perhaps Carmel isn’t unusual in this regard. Perhaps what I observe is a reflection of a broader trend. I don’t know.

What I can be sure of, however, is we (the U.S.) could do better. Fewer people would die and be injured if we set our mind to it. The success that some other countries have had in reducing dramatically auto accident rates points the way. But, of course, we could do worse. And we have done worse.

Indeed, but for improved safety features in today’s automobiles (compared to those of my youth), it’s likely I wouldn’t be alive to write this. I probably would have died on September 22, 2017. So I’m grateful. Very grateful. For the advancements. And for the hard work and commitment of everyone who helped make the world a safer place.

So today I celebrate NYC’s success. And remember the famous line from Hill Street Blues:

“Hey, let’s be careful out there.”

For ourselves.

And each other.

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