What more evidence does one need to conclude that distractions are killing us — drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians alike?
In 1935, Grant Wood produced one of his most iconic paintings, “Death on the Ridge Road,” a dark commentary on the perilousness of life on the American road — and perhaps a commentary on life itself.
In the painting a red box truck and two sleek black cars seem to be headed for a fatal encounter on a narrow country road.
The 1930s were hard times in many ways in the U.S., and not least on the nation’s roads, where nearly 35,000 perished, at a time when there were many fewer vehicles and a lot less driving. The death rate stood at an astounding 15.09 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel (VMT).
Things have gotten a lot better since 1935. Recently, however, the data have veered in the wrong direction.