Every 13 minutes, someone dies on America’s roadways. Fatalities include drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and every other kind of road user. Car crashes hit young people especially hard, killing more people aged 5-34 than any other cause of death. More than 2.3 million people annually also suffer serious injuries from crashes.
Ten times more Americans die in car crashes each year than have died in combat in Iraq in the past decade. The economic impact of crash-related deaths and injuries is estimated at $70 billion a year, which is more than the total annual economic output of 15 U.S. states and territories.
These statistics are shocking. Every road user should be outraged that these tragedies continue to take place, especially when so many crashes occur because of risks that could be avoided, such as distraction, speeding, and impaired driving.
Through our Traffic Safety Culture program, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety works to safety a priority that everyone in our society values and pursues. Rather than viewing safety as a goal that can be compromised for convenience, all road users will consider safety an inherent part of driving.
Our annual Traffic Safety Culture Index tracks how the public’s views and perceptions of traffic safety issues change over time. Although various issues shift in and out of the public’s attention from year to year, one thing remains the same: Most people understand the risks of distraction, drowsiness, impaired driving, and other risky behaviors – and they condemn others for being risky – but they refuse to apply what they know to their own behavior.
Overcoming this attitude and making safe behaviors everyone’s priority will save lives.
- Media Center