This Makes People So Mad When I Say It.

Recently, four young women, students at our local NDSU, were killed in an automobile wreck. People will talk about this for a while.   But, nothing will be done about the 100 lives a day lost in car wrecks in the U. S.

One of my interests has been on to measure the value we on put different human lives.  By  measuring how much time and money we spend preventing different kinds of deaths we can see a reflection of how we value life.

Our culture puts different values on lives depending on how death occurs.  The amount we spend preventing deaths in fires tells us each of those lives in worth more than the life lost in a car wreck.

Since 9/11 every school, tiny local government office and airplane has been made ”safe” from attacks.  And, then there is abortion.  Each life lost in these events is worth more than any lost in a car wreck.

I used the words “car wreck” instead of the usual, “car accident.”  Little about them is accidental.  We can predict that 12 months from now 40,000 people will have died.  We can prevent nearly all of them.

We don’t do anything about this because it affects us personally.  Lower speeds, wearing helmets, bigger penalties, heavier fines on the impaired and more traffic tickets would save most of these 100 people a day.  Neither elected officials nor preachers bring these up.

The four students will be forgotten soon.  Nothing will be done.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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19 Responses to This Makes People So Mad When I Say It.

  1. Henry says:

    Jon: “But, nothing will be done about the 100 lives a day lost in car wrecks in the U. S.”

    Not true.

    Newer air bags. Stricter enforcement of DWI. Better guardrail. More guardrail. More gradual inslopes. Better energy absorbing bumpers.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Henry 1:29 Hate to say you are a sucker for Highway Dept. and auto company PR campaigns, but….
      Everytime they put in new safety features on roads or cars, the speed limit is raised. This offsets the safety “improvements.”

      Instead of listening to self-serving PR campaigns, look at the results. I’ll repeat them: 40,000 deaths, year after year after year. “This Makes People So Mad When I Say It.” someone wrote.

      • Henry says:

        I wouldn’t mind a 65 MPH limit.

        I almost got smoked the other day. Stopped on a green light for a fire truck at a blind intersection. A truck behind me cruising along at about 40 didn’t see me stop and barely missed me, blazing by and though the intersection beating the fire truck. A very close one despite me closely paying attention and following the rules of the road.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Henry 3:04 To get the traffic deaths down, the speed limit would have to go below 65 MPH. I’m old enough to remember when they were dropped to 55 MPH because of OPEC. Deaths went way down. If the speed limit was say, 45 MPH on the intestate and 15 MPH in towns and cities, like it is in parks and on campus’, people wore crash helmets and we spent more on law enforcement we’d just about solve it.

          Deaths in fires and in airline crashes has almost been eliminated with steps like these. Building codes, monitoring and lots of money has been spent. The public has supported these. They don’t seem to support safety in cars. If we were truly “prolife” we would support elminating deaths in car wrecks.

          • Henry says:

            “I’m old enough to remember when they were dropped to 55 MPH because of OPEC.”

            Not a bad idea with a vehicle with 3.73 gears and no overdrive. A republican made your dream come true.

  2. Robert says:

    Good points, Henry. Almost all of the time, a car “wreck” as you call it is due to human error…..speed, carelessness, distracted driving, etc. Comparing this to safeguarding buildings from deliberate, calculated attacks, or deliberate decision to have an abortion, doesn’t make any sense. Better luck tomorrow.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Robert, thanks for commenting.

      There are, and always will be, driver mistakes. That’s why we wear seatbelts. If the speed limit were, say, half to what it is, and, we all would wear crash helmets in cars, the driver mistakes would kill a fraction of the people they kill today.

      There just is no doubt whatsoever, cars wrecks are preventable. We can try to deny it, but it’s a fact. Most people do not want to hear about it.

  3. Avatar of S. L. S. L. says:

    Leave it to Bill Maher to not be able to tell the difference between an erection and conception. Sigh. And they allow these people to breed …………….

  4. Bob says:

    Can we just start with not killing Muslims and doing honest business with them. And then perhaps we can free all the Pot crime prisoners?
    Then, we can worry about the other stuff.
    When it comes to driving, DON’T RELY ON THE GOVERNMENT TO TELL YOU HOW TO DRIVE!!!!
    The kindest thing the parents of those four poor girls could do, is tell them this. Tell them not to rely on government signs, speed limits, and such. Teach your children to be safe by only relying on themselves. Take your kids out and show them how to drive. Warn them if they are in the car with peers, they are at risk for not paying attention and getting killed as a result. Teach them, don’t listen to the government, that isn’t going to warn you about being young and socializing while in the car. And teach them its NOT the government’s job to do this, its their job to teach themselves how to be safe while operating any and all vehicles they decide to put their bodies in and project themselves through space.
    I think driver’s training is good, but not enough. People who love their kids need to teach their kids more than the government ever can or could.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Bob–3:15 I agree we should be suspious of what governments tell us. Highway departments, I’ve noticed, usually like to have speed limits increased. This results in more people driving and using more gas because of the speed–highway departments live off of gas and diesel taxes. I’ve seen highway departments claim speed does not result in deaths. They should ask a crash dummy.

      I agree with Ron Paul, we really don’t need a Federal Highway system. They build beautiful interstates, standarize the roads and signs so they are easier to use, but, it we just drove slowered we could handle the different state and city roads just fine.

      Nevertheless, if people wanted to eliminate deaths, and wanted government to play a big role, it could accomplish the task just as government has almost eliminated deaths in fires and airline crashes.

      • Henry says:

        What happens if government tells us they want to put bike lanes on the busiest roads in town with merely a painted stripe keeping the inattentive driver from careening into the innocent biker?

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Henry 3:57 I think the City of Fargo believes the public supports bike lanes. Streets have been shared by everyone, pedestirans, donkeys, oxen and whatever, since people first traveled. I have this book, Streets are for People. Cars and bikes can share the road–it might be government needs to slow down the car traffic.

          • Henry says:

            I could agree to a little slow down. I’d like to get more truck traffic off the roads. We have the very efficient system of rails used very inefficiently all with the aid of fancy computers and automated switches, etc. I bought a recent shipment by rail. To travel three states, it took one month. Terrible service. Back in the steam days, it was much more streamlined and reliable.

  5. Carlos says:

    Referring to abortion you said, as though it were a god given fact, that: “Each life lost in these events is worth more than any lost in a car wreck.”

    What an insensitive and ideological thing to say to the families that lost actual loved ones with known personalities and futures. Shame on you for putting politics before good Christian compassion. I hope that the next time misfortune strikes your loved ones that you aren’t lectured in such a fashion.

    Also, your grammar is horrible and the structure of your arguments is fallacious and intentionally stupid. You may not know this, but the people at The Forum encouraging you do.

    Stop.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Carlos 7:11 Thanks for coming on the forum to comment. All comments are appreciated.

      “Shame on you for putting politics before good Christian compassion.”

      Actually, I was putting economic evidence in front of “good Christian compassion.” My point is I don’t really see a lot of good Christian compassion in the deaths from car wrecks. There is neither compassion nor a will to do something about it.

      I apologize for the gammatical errors in my posts.

      As for the logic of my arguments, I see you have choosen not to take on my argument that nothing much is being done about deaths in car wrecks. I’d suggest shooting the messager does not destroy the message.

  6. T says:

    I remember the day when seat belts were non-existant and my two brothers and I free-ranged the back seat of our parents’ monstrosity of a Buick. Since then, even with the advent of seatbelts, cars have gotten lighter and faster and highways and roads have gotten busier, making driving more dangerous. Despite airbags deploying from every conceivable direction in newer cars in the event of a crash, the human body can only take so much.

  7. Bob says:

    Things will change though. For example, some of the carrier mail airplanes are extremely soon going to be flying in and out of airports unmanned.
    There is talk of unmanned passenger flights too. Its coming fast, get ready.
    It won’t be long and cars will also be ridden in without a driver, the car will be the driver. Its coming, and it will probably be statistically by far much safer.
    The old days will be when we manually drove ourselves where we wanted to go.

    • PK says:

      The government will no undoubtedly put mandates on these unmanned cars to only be able to go where they want them to. As technology in all areas increases we are entering into a technocratic dictatorship nightmare.

  8. Bob says:

    Just like humans have survived church and government dictatorship for millenia, so will we survive humans trying to control other humans through technology PK.

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