Car crashes since 2000 have injured more than 30 million Americans and taken the lives of 624,000 — a number exceeding the 535,000 U.S. military personnel killed in the two World Wars. The central causes aren’t a surprise: Speeding. Drunkenness. Driver distraction via cellphones or other diversions.
Drunken driving cost more than 212,000 Americans their lives during 2000-17, the Washington Post reports. The death toll from speeding exceeded 197,000 during that period. Distracted driving, meanwhile, led to crashes resulting in more than 77,000 deaths since 2000. Some 481,000 Americans use their cellphones while at the wheel during daylight hours, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.
Death and injury on such a scale ought to spur more drivers to act responsibly on the road. Watch your speed. Don’t drive impaired. And don’t put yourself and others at risk by fiddling with a cellphone while directing a vehicle down the road.