Friday, May 16, 2008

Dying on the Road

According to the organization, Make Roads Safe, and reported by The New York Times' Minute Waltz, every 6 seconds someone is killed on the roads of the world.

This got me to thinking. And I just read in today's local Bauru daily newspaper, that, on one of the highways that runs from Bauru to another city called Iacanga, someone dies every 10 days.

Now, this is a disturbing fact, just on the surface, but when combined with the fact that this statistic is fatal accidents, it becomes truly frightening when you think about how many total accidents must occur daily on that particularly small, two-lane road.

I have written in the past about my experiences driving in Bauru in particular, and this week, in one of my Conversation classes at CNA Language School, where I teach ESL, I tried to get to the roots of the problem.

The consensus was that individuality, and the belief that one's life is so stressful that everyone is just getting in the way when you are driving, leads to so many of the accidents on today's roads.In the textbook we use, the writer notes some instances in Philadelphia, in which one driver, cut off, shot another driver in the head. Another, in the same city, was over a parking spot.

As I drive to work today, I am certain that I will feel the adrenaline rush when someone cuts me off, or runs a red light, and I try not to blow my horn at them. Then, I am sure I will let my mind wander for a moment, longing for a city where I don't need to drive to work, because I have the greatest subway system in the world: New York.

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