From ITO comes this very nice—and very sobering—map of road accident fatalities in the United States between 2001 and 2009. As someone who wrote a book about blood and organ donation in Europe and the United States, I’ve spent time analyzing NHTSA data on traffic accidents. I remember that, during Q&As at talks, people were often surprised to learn just how many road deaths there are in the U.S.: about forty thousand per annum (though 2009 saw a very sharp drop, interestingly). Of course, people drive a great deal, too. Standardized by miles traveled, the rate is about 1.5 per 100 million vehicle miles. Still, the absolute number is striking: about two full Boeing 747s’ worth every week of the year.
You can zoom in to the precise location of every accident on the map. Each dot is a life. Drive safely this Thanksgiving.