Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pile Ups


By Julie Rahm

Every year, tens-of-thousands of Americans die on the highways. However, the good news is highway deaths have been steadily declining. In 1972, there were 54,589 highway fatalities in the United States. In 2012, there were 34,080. In forty years, highway deaths have decreased by 20,000 fortunate individuals. But, the bad news for 2012 was that deaths increased 5.3% while miles driven have only increased 0.3%. The 2012 increase was the first since 2005. Interestingly, there were only 26 highway fatalities in 1899!
Also sad, about 5,000 motorcyclists died in 2012, which is 14.7% of overall traffic fatalities. It was the highest percentage ever and a 9% increase over the previous year.
Worldwide, the United States highway fatality statistic is in the middle of the pack. The World Health Organization reports, in the United States, there are 12.3 road fatalities per year, per 100,000 inhabitants. According to the World Health Organization, road traffic injuries caused an estimated 1.24 million deaths worldwide in the year 2010, down from 1.26 million in 2000. Half of all road traffic deaths are among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Adults aged between 15 and 44 years account for 59% of deaths. Three out of four road deaths are among men. The average rate for men was 18 per year, per 100,000 people (down from 20.8 in 2000). Southeast Asia and Africa have the highest highway fatality rates.
The highest reported rate belongs to the African country of Eritrea at 48.4 deaths per year, per 100,000 inhabitants. So you know, Eritrea is a country in the Horn of Africa and bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Let me pile on!
Perhaps the biggest multiple car pile-up in U.S. history occurred on November 29, 1991, when a dust storm blew up on I-5 outside of Coalinga, California. Unable to see in the dust, 164 cars collided, killing 17 and injuring 150 people. Another record setter occurred near Calhoun, Tennessee on December 11, 1990. In that wreck, twelve people died and another 42 were injured when 99 cars collided on a fogged-in section of I-75.
So this week, I have led with some gloom to tell you that if life seems a wreck, you can change things. Problems seem worse when you allow them to pile up. When question after question comes to mind without having any answers, despair sets in. To resolve problems, when a question arises about that problem, connect with the answer before considering another question. Tackle the most troubling problem first. Then, you may find that other problems are simultaneously resolved. If all of your problems seem equally troubling, or if you’re not sure how to connect with the answer to your question, I can provide insight. Visit me online at http://www.FB.com/ReliefWithJulie. And, please drive alertly!

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