Driving Deaths Decline

The price of gas goes up, less people die. Reports show that’s not just a prediction, but a reality. The good news is that 6,000 people will survive this year who otherwise would have died. But it all seems so…well, abstract – especially compared to very detailed pain (would you like a receipt with that?) of what we’re paying at the pump. After all, what’s really the difference between 42,000 and 36,000? Can any of us imagine those numbers in real terms? Here’s one way, in the midst of economic misery, that we can take a moment and celebrate this small bit of wonderful news:

For me, when I think of traffic deaths, I remember the kid from my high school. Everyone knows one, or two, or three who died before graduation. Sometimes it’s a whole carload of teens. At my high school, it was the golden girl a grade ahead, out on a date with a hunky boyfriend, driving to the next town over. Both of them died on impact. No college, no future – instead a weeping church full of teens and a pair of aged-overnight parents, so devastated that their grief would have to lighten in order to be able to cry. Today, I celebrate the fact that somewhere out in America, a beautiful, bright young woman may be laughing with her friends, twirling her hair, and talking about shoe sales. She is oblivious to the fact that if gas wasn’t so horribly expensive, she would have been one of the six thousand deaths we saved this year. She is my reason to celebrate. Who was it at your school?

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