Every year in the United States, over 30,000 people are killed in collisions involving motor vehicles. This statistic is commonly compared to being the equivalent of more than ten 9/11 attacks per year, over five times the entire US military death from the War on Terror every year, and more than the annual death toll from prostate cancer. Motor vehicle related deaths are so quotidian that we have become numb to the effects especially when the victims are pedestrians or cyclists.
As a cyclist and a driver, I obey the rules of the road, signal my actions to drivers, and take great lengths to make myself highly visible on the road while on my bike. Despite all this, my life is literally in the hands of the drivers around me. While the allure of multitasking on the road may seem like an innocent action to many, over 5,000 of the annual motor vehicle related deaths are caused by distracted drivers. In my opinion, this public health crisis is exacerbated by countless court rulings that protect the perpetrators of negligent and/or reckless homicide rather than the victims and their families.
A fellow triathlete recently shared the video below by the Dear Motorist campaign on his blog. I was deeply moved by its message: “There isn’t anything that’s going to happen while you are driving that is more important than the actual act of driving.”
Please sign the pledge to share the road and drive responsibly. Ridding the roadways of distracted drivers will save thousands of lives every year.