A car is as dangerous as a gun
Richard Parncutt

July 2020

How dangerous is a car? Very, as it happens.

Cars make major contributions to climate change and fine particle pollution, both of which are killing people. I live in a small European city of about 300,000 people, where cars are causing at least 100 premature deaths locally from air pollution (usually in combination with other diseases) and about 100 future deaths worldwide from climate change (usually in combination with poverty), every year (more).

Cars are also causing noise pollution, which is affecting quality of life, not to mention the value of real estate.

But the most obviously dangerous thing about cars is that they cause accidents. Every year, some 1.3 million people die in traffic accidents worldwide, mainly caused by cars. Traffic accidents are the most frequent cause of death in the age group 5 to 29 years.

In this regard, it is interesting to compare a car with a gun.
From this we can conclude that if you drive a car you have a chance of roughly 1/1000 of causing a traffic death, whereas if you own a gun the chance of causing a death is only about half of that.

A car is as dangerous as a gun. Think about that the next time you are behind the wheel.

There are many possible solutions, but the most reliable solution is to reduce the number of both cars and guns. Do the future and yourself a favor and sell your car. Start walking, cycling, and taking trains and buses instead.

The opinions expressed on this page are the author's personal opinions. Readers who know and care about this topic are asked to contact the author with suggestions for improving or extending the content: parncutt at gmx dot at. Back to Richard Parncutt's homepage