As hosts Laura Marsh and Alex Pereene mention in the episode’s introduction, journalists are grasping at straws to explain the tragic uptick, and the popular (but unsupported) conclusion is that COVID-related isolation is driving people to recklessness on our roads. In reality, say the guests, the cause of death on our streets is designed into the system.
Nearly every street and road is designed to allow (and encourage) drivers to travel at the highest speed possible, even when it puts their lives and the lives of others at risk. (2:15—Chuck Marohn)
Wide lanes—even in urban centers—encourage the use of large vehicles, which are more fatal to people traveling on foot in the case of a collision. (13:30—Jessie Singer)
And the prioritization of automobile travel over all other modes of transportation means that other travelers carry a disproportionate risk. This is distinctly not the case in many other developed countries. (25:25—Jason Slaughter)
Most importantly, the guests discuss how to bring about a sea change in the way our streets and roads are built so that no one has to lose a loved one to a traffic accident.