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.
are about 0.8 billion guns in the world. Every year, about 0.4 million
people are murdered.
are about 1.4 billion cars in the world. Every year, about 1.3 million
people die in traffic accidents.
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.
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