Unless you live under a rock or have been on a vacation on a remote island, you've likely heard about the Great Toyota Recall, in response to safety concerns over stuck gas pedals and faulty brakes. Scary stuff, right? No road user - whether behind the wheel, on foot, on bike or on transit - wants to be on the receiving end of a vehicle that's accelerating out of control.
But the level of media coverage and general hysteria has me stymied. It highlights once again how underwhelmed we are in the U.S. by regular old traffic crashes. By my count, here's the score:
Total fatalities (thus far) attributed to the sudden acceleration of Toyotas = 34
Ped/bike fatalities nationwide in 2007 = over 5,000
Average U.S. traffic fatalities in one year = roughly 34,000
Traffic deaths are...