2020 is now complete, preliminarily, in terms of traffic fatality data collected by the Traffic Research Unit at NMDOT/UNM. Despite the pandemic, roadway deaths didn’t drop as much as we might have thought/hoped.
2020’s slight drop from the absurd 425 deaths in 2019 to roughly the 2018 carnage figure is just another in the countless ways last year was disappointing. Even more distressing is a look at those fatalities by type of conveyance:
Think of all those pickup trucks and Vans/SUVs you see on the roads and compare that with the number of folks you see walking along/across those roads. That 78 pedestrians died while only 62 did in pickups and 66 in Vans/SUVs tells us much about our personal and collective roadway priorities.
For instance, some might/do retort “Duh, of course there are fewer pickup truck deaths! Those drivers/passengers are protected by thousands of pounds of metal!” And in that response we learn even more about our personal/collective roadway priorities and how damn hard it’s going to be in this country to make those priorities more equitable and less selfish.
Stay safe out there, everybody. Especially if you’re not cocooned within thousands of pounds of metal.