By Frank Hinds, Executive Director
We’ve all encountered the pink breast cancer awareness campaigns and men continue to be reminded about the need for prostate cancer screening – but sadly there are few, ongoing, nationally recognized awareness and prevention campaigns related to motor vehicle fatalities in the United States.
There are approximately 40,000 breast cancer and 34,000 prostate cancer deaths annually in this country, while motor vehicle crashes are the cause of nearly 33,000 fatalities each year, yet the amount of attention given to auto related deaths is practically nonexistent. The medical community initiates a full court press each year to get everyone vaccinated against the flu – which kills about 30,000 annually, but no national programs to prevent the number one killer of teenagers – car crashes! Why not?
I’m mystified as to why tens of thousands of deaths due to motor vehicle crashes each year garner such little attention, while 100 deaths due to the West Nile virus warrants national media exposure.
Don’t get me wrong, I am fully supportive of the cancer awareness programs. My mother was a breast cancer victim and I am a prostate cancer survivor. Furthermore, I get my flu shot every year, but where is the national concern and effort to stop killing teens and adults on our roadways?
Every day in the United States, 350 people are injured, many seriously, in red light running crashes, and 650 people each year die as a result of someone running a red light. A typical commercial airliner carries 200 passengers on each flight, if three or four of these planes crashed every year in the United States, killing everyone on board, you bet there would be concern and even outrage!