(Note: This was posted using the Bakersfield Amtrak's free wifi while waiting on San Joaquin #715 to Richmond.)
I'm writing to you from the CA-210 Freeway on board the Amtrak California route 19 bus. Obviously I have no internet, so I'll post this later, but it's currently 10:18 AM on Sunday morning. We've just passed a traffic accident. An SUV and a tractor-trailer got into some sort of conflict- it blocked the freeway down to two lanes, from it's usual six. Took us about twenty minutes to get past. Even the firemen ran the last half mile, traffic was so thick.
Watch your morning traffic report. Most of the time you're just thinking about "How can I get to work?" and a traffic accident is simply an obstacle to you getting there. That's a legitimate complaint- hundreds of people were inconvenienced this morning, just from one collision. The next time you hear about a traffic accident though, think about how it affects the people involved. This time it looked like only minor injuries occured, but both the SUV driver and the trucker are up for major headaches from the DMV and police in the coming weeks. The trucker might even lose his job. Distressingly, injuries and fatalities in traffic accidents are all too common. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for people 18-34, and the #1 cause of accidental death in this country. They take 40,000 lives every year.
That's September 11th every month or so.
Public buses are 10 times safer than driving, per passenger mile. Rail transit is 40 times safer. People ask me why I don't drive. I say, why take the risk?