Monday, January 7, 2013

Drunk Driving Fatalities

The Morning News has linked to an excellent graphic depiction of the deadliest and safest cities amongst the 25 most populous cities proper:



This is interesting because it lists not only alcohol related traffic fatalities per capita and per accident, but also total traffic fatalities per capita, allowing us to see a potential relationship between cities.  However, we can only speculate why some are deadly due to alcohol, but not deadly overall, like Chicago.  What is most telling is the pattern of cities that are consistently at the top (or bottom) of all three lists.  In the case of deadliest, it is the sprawlingest.  The cars built for the car and car only.  The places we like to pretend the car is king because of preference rather than policy and infrastructural coercion.  Dallas, Phx, and Houston make the top 6 in all three lists.  The only cities to register.  A shame Atlanta doesn't make the cut population-wise since it has been so thoroughly hollowed out we can't assess it similarly.

Don't say I didn't try to warn you:

http://www.carfreeinbigd.com/2010/04/unfortunate-tragedy-of-drinking-and.html

http://www.dmagazine.com/Home/D_Magazine/2012/January/Why_Dallas_Leads_Nation_in_Drunk-Driving_Deaths.aspx

Blame the driver or drunk driver all you want, prohibition proved people will still drink.  Blaming these deaths solely on individual responsibility is to be blind to the patterns clearly illustrated by the chart above.  It's whether they can walk from where they drink that matters.  And not so coincidentally, walkable places naturally concentrate activity which in turn concentrates cab activity and the accessibility to cabs.  There is blood on the hands of the city builders of the sun belt.